Thursday, 31 March 2011

Egaku / draw for japan / buy zines / Art Fair in aid of Japan Sunday 3rd April, 12 - 8pm

I have some stuff for sale at this event this Sunday.....

Art Fair in aid of Japan
Sunday 3rd April, 12 - 8pm
At Jaguar Shoes
32-36 Kingsland Road
Shoreditch, E2 8DA

Friday, 25 March 2011

If you're not in Copenhagen.

First image from In Case We Don't Die (part 3),
Helene Nyborg Contemporary
Store Kongensgade 40H, ground floor
Skt. Annæ Passage
DK-1264 Copenhagen K

open till April 16th 2011,

Photo Credit : Bibi Katholm

Friday, 11 March 2011

research application.

I submitted this to the RCA painting department recently, and felt that this blog might be a good place for it to live, rather than forever staying wrapped up as a pdf in my documents folder. it is a four part proposal as required, covering recent development, planned trajectory of research, proposed strategies and context for the work. Here it is.

Ralph Dorey provisional proposal for MPhil Painting 2011.

Part 1: Recent Development.

2007: submitted MA dissertation “I am a Golden God!” An Examination of Failure and Personal Perfection.

In 2008 I exhibited a building entitled Outpost of Progress (slide 10).
Between hunting lodge and temple and in a state of transformation from one to the other circularly.
The building was to be the site of numerous orbits, the object and the image, antiquity and modernity, the hero and the masses all chasing one another like comets.
This building was built upon an exploration of language that attempted to come to terms with Modernism as our mythology. The aim of my research at this time was to re-animate this mythology, move from gesture to resonance and to move further up river to the source of something of which I believed Modernism to be a ground swell.

2009: Produced a project (slides 08 and 09) that consisted of an installation in the front room of a flat, a second  in the window of a barber shop, a book entitled Bildungsroman and a box of materials which were posted to Chicago and installed to my specifications as part of NEXT. The third and fourth parts of this project began my exploration into ideological compression and expansion, that is to say the compression of the institution to an ideal or attitude, to be able to travel light and upon arrival at the destination, outspan.

Bildungsroman, as well as the box of prepared materials and instructions sent to Chicago both involve a consideration of art as a wild rallying of ideas to ends of reactions between them. This rejection of a single, sealed and solid form and instead considering the myriad parts enclosed by a thread of other means is continued throughout my practice. I have sought to find ways in which the thingliness of some material and a textual reference might be combined with something without matter such as a cultural incident, or a belief without being bent toward a directly expressible outcome that would render the specifics redundant.

Princess Yuki Retains The State (2009. slides 05, 06 and 07) considered the relationship between the civic encasement of ideals such as the sovereigns embodiment of a potential state and that of the Modernist creative act itself, an authentic response based on the right here and the right now.

In 2010 I made a series of installations which moved the site of action further from the studio, experimenting with controlled improvisation and to create a space of action to hold the artwork itself, without the spectacle quality of performance.
A rucksack was packed with prepared artefacts and materials which constitute part of a vocabulary of both formal, pictorial and referential content. I carried this rucksack with me to Berlin and combined with basic vernacular materials to build an installation.

Began investigation the notion of incompleteness. / Artist is witness of the things made.

Gave lecture at Brighton University entitled On Going which argued for sculpture to demonstrate its own fluidity as a document of the understanding that occurred during making and against a culture of sculptural fragility which I perceived as creating a further layer of codification rather than debunking the myth of material permanence.

Undertook residency to research the moment as a means to and site of art. Experimented with methods of recording this indirectly whilst camping in the woods, working in a foundry and exploring the Isle of Thanet.

Part 2: Trajectory.

Writing/speaking and other forms of language as both means and record.

Examine the loops of action, the stream of consciousness retraced and panned and sieved and picked over for geological understanding.
To this end I am investigating Ulysses  as a model for both “Situated Knowledge” (the subjective partial knowledge is not only acknowledge but utilised as a site of reaction in terms of the author, the characters and the physical form of the book. The unreliable narrators are the only ones worth listening too, consider Rashomon..) , the creation of a discourse being simultaneously the creation of a resource, and the potential for loops of feedback within this, as well as its use of language which operates simultaneously in a mode of interpretation and a wild and raw one of volatile association. It moves forward and back at once, paths are blazed and steps are retraced in one kinetic action.

Survival/Compression A further question would be how do we survive? To bracket out that which we imagine we survive against, and now just focus on what is left. To survive is to get the job done, with no waste,with a poetic economy, to assess the terrain and then... Respond. I contain not only my history but the systems, the ideology, the problematic. Like Princess Yuki I can travel light, a mute woodcutter’s daughter and still be the heir and ignition (the tightest point in the lines between past and future, a lens) of my empire.

Design and Living the moment of direct engagement with reality.

Le Corbusier’s Modernism as example of with/against reality.

A: [Language as a limit to engagement with The Real. Lacan]

Which is the counterpoint to…

B: [I am interested in use for art creation. The creative act not only being the site of art but also a resource for philosophical enquiry. I would compare this to Heidegger’s being-in-the-world. This would operate as the theoretical grounding for looking at the other side of language.]

The above areas being contained within the following theme…

I am interested in exploring the approach to the creative act, the run up. I am interested in making the creative act the focus, but rather than making this spectacle through performance, making it a thing to be used.

How can this be used? What approach/priming is needed? I am investigating what can be done to set the stage before the creative act, what collaborative role assignment can do, what can be done to bring this stage out.

The creative act as a state of development and a resource for future consideration has its parallels:
This thought-through-action is the engine of development. Development itself, the Bergsonian fluid state is the place where I would attempt to site art and to which I would draw comparison to survival, architecture, the Bildungsroman and through this the drive of Modernism itself.


3: Strategies and Methods.

1. I have been confronting different scenarios, splitting the duality of making and reflecting or bringing these together to become an activity that occupies both spaces. What is it to hold tight? What is it to let go?

2. To make something which is a record of itself, to make an artefact that is condensed and unadulterated in it’s documentation of it’s own becoming.
I believe that this becoming is the site of direct engagement with the world and the core of Modernism.

I am concerned with the open ground between preparation and understanding. In numerous works I have formed a scenario for engagement with the act of making (slides 02, 03 and 14), preparing equipment and materials which are then used to execute a work, considering the difference between spontaneity and the well rehearsed.
 I have disrupted the creative act by inserting a dialogue into it, considering that a principle of engagement might be a one on one encounter with the world, this is tested with a proposal that certain group activities might remove our distanced third person viewing of our activity.
I have considered what effect purpose might have on the creative act.

3. Joyce’s Ulysses also serves as a model for the entropic relationship between the interpretable and the irreducible.

Considering the balance of order and disorder as reflecting that of the symbolic and the concrete. Publications allow for the forcing of associations between the different types of discourse which might otherwise be reduced. Here it could hold tight, here it can let go.

4. I have looked at the ideal of resourcefulness, particularly through the novel and cinema. I am interested in an idealised rugged resourcefulness as holds together some specific genres of fiction. The Cowboy and The Samurai, the Eastern and the Western

(i) Fiction (novel, theatre and film) in its position of controlling the progression of events allows for a unique resourcefulness, the flawless.
To be resourceful is to be in tune, to move in the same direction as everything else.
(ii) Man as individual / man as part of land. This land as a point of convergence, of its own interrelationships and being. The idealised state requiring only the most base material, the mere things.
Examination and application of systems between ideas posed by Heidegger, Lacan and Bergson.

Making work in landscape, responding to need, to site, to journey. Perform activity in order to reflect upon question. How does performing action illuminate question?

My methods of working revolve around a duality of detailed observation and research, against prepared but intuitive engagement and response. A focus of my research is this making itself, and so process contains an in-fed development as result of its reflective approach. I am concerned with methods of recording experience and development and as well as the language of communicating this, being particularly thorough regarding the potential for distortion and collapse in this language, should it not be sufficiently flexible.

I am trying to find ways to train for the creative act, in order to use it it for something, and then document this, to use it better, to train better.

Part 4: Context.

In the mid-nineteen seventies television series Kung Fu, David Carradine wanders the Southern States in a search that is little more than an arbitrary co-ordinate. Beyond even the episodic nature of television at the time Carradine continually  emerges from a desert vacuum to observe and respond to the continually renewed context in which he finds himself. Carradine grows, but all else is merely a context to elicit his response, which is consistently and effortlessly move through this 50 minute space.

In Andrei Tarkovky’s Stalker the titular character expounds a monologue on the preferable resilience of pliancy.

Werner Herzog’s Aguire ,Wrath of God shows a territorial state of fixed perimeter floating in space. Comparatively Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress shows a state of infinite potential compressed to the size of an inexpressive but consciously mobile human body.

Blood Meridian by Cormac MacCarthy is in part accounted for by the line “There is joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto.”

Martin Heidegger’s zuhandenheit can be examined in terms of a pure design solution model. In such a model context and the alignment required to bring about harmony is simultaneously revealed (in that it is responded to by the agent) and hidden (the agent does not grasp either). In Design For The Real World Victor Papanek describes a similar mode of design, while lamenting that purity of design is most readily found under the motivation of war and disaster.

For Heidegger the Greek temple reveals the sky above it. Le Corbusier’s Sainte Marie de La Tourette creates and occupies a space/being in parallel to, while distinct from the landscape it occupies.

Steven Claydon’s 2007/2008 exhibition at the Camden art Centre and accompanying notes put forward investigation into: producing for “productions sake, in lieu of the tangible, in lieu of manifesto”, the creative (and fictive) power of categorisation, and the hunt of the elusive Heideggerian “thingliness of things”.

In Can Objects Perform?: Agency and Thingliness in Contemporary Sculpture and Installation, a paper delivered at the Henry Moore institute last year, Pil and Galia Kollectiv examine the relationship between “object orientated art” and the recent Object Orientated Philosophy of Bruno Latour, or the Speculative Realists. This is an area to which I intend significant investigation, aligning as it does with a crisis already perceived in this contemporary mode of art, that of a softening of both conceptual alignment and formal structure. I would propose an investigation into the application of Object Orientated Philosophy to current modes of art along with a reconsideration of the Author in discourse on such work, presenting the site of art as convergence of numerous trajectories of becoming, include that of the artist. An Artist/Author model for such investigation would be Paul Thek, who with less ghostly persona-baggage may prove more wieldable than the more immediate choice of Joseph Beuys.

 Key references:

Aguire, The Wrath of God, 1972 [Film] Directed by Werner Herzog. West Germany: Herzog, Hessischer Rundfunk.

Apocalypse Now Redux, 2001. [Film] Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. USA: Paramount.

Badlands, 1973. [Film] Directed by Terrence Malick. USA: Twentieth Century Fox.

Bergson, H., 1945, Creative Evolution. New York: Cosimo Classics.

Strange Events Permit Themselves The Luxury of Occurring, 2007. [Exhibition] Steven Claydon. London: Camden Art Centre.

Conrad, J., 1900. Tales of Unrest [Pdf] London: E. Nash and Grayson. Available at: [Accessed 15 January 2011]

Davis, M., 1970. Bitches Brew [Music Recording]. London: CBS.

Derrida, J., 1993.  Specters of Marx. Translated from French by P. Kamuf. Abandon: Routledge.

Dersu Azula, 1975. [Film] Directed by Akira Kurosawa. U.S.S.R: Mosfilm Studios.

The Architect’s Home in The Ravine, 1991. [Painting] Peter Doig. (Saatchi Gallery Collection)

Falckenberg, H. And Waybill, P. eds., 2008. Paul Thek: Artist’s Artist. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

For a Few Dollars More, 1966 [Film] Directed by Sergio Leone. Italy: P.E.A

Foucault, M. What Is an Author? 1979 in: P. Rabinow, Ed. 1984. The Foucault Reader. New York: Pantheon Books.

Gioni, M, Hoptman, L and Flood, R., 2007. Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century, London: Phaeton.

Grass, G., 1959. The Tin Drum. Translated from German by R. Mannheim. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Heidegger, M., 1936. The Origin of The Work of Art. In: D. F. Krell, ed. 1993. Basic Writings From Being and Time (1927) to The Task of Thinking (1964). 2nd Ed. New York: Harper Collins.

Joyce, J., 1922. Ulysses. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.

Kuoni, C. ed., 1993. Joseph Buys in America: Energy Plan for The Western Man. Writings by and Interviews with The Artist. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows.

Lacan, J., 1978. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis. New York: Norton.

McCarthy C., 1985. Blood Meridian or : The Evening Redness in The West. New York: Vintage International.

Melville, H., 1851. Moby Dick. Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics.

Papanek, V., 1977. Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change. St. Albans: Paladin.

Rashomon, 1950. [Film] Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Japan: RKO Radio Pictures.

Signs of Life, 1968. [Film] Directed by Werner Herzog. Germany: Werner Kerzog Filmproduktion.

Sontag, S., 2009. Against Interpretation and Other Essays. London: Penguin Classics.

Stalker, 1979. [Film] Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. U.S.S.R: Mosfilm Studios.

The Hidden Fortress, 1958. [Film] Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Japan: Toho Co.

The Long Riders, 1980. [Film] Directed by Walter Hill. USA: Huka Productions.

The Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex Park, Kent.

The Thin Red Line, 1998. [Film] Directed by Terrence Malick. USA: Twentieth Century Fox.

Friday, 4 March 2011

In Case We Don't Die / Copenhagen

Berlin * London * Copenhagen* Non-Stop!
   18. March – 16. April 2011
Stephen Dunne (UK) // Andreas Emenius (SE) // Bibi Katholm (DK) // Shane Bradford (UK) // Ida Kvetny (DK) // Jacob Kirkegaard (DK) // Ralph Dorey (UK) // Peter Rune Christiansen (DK) // John Strutton (UK) // Pascal Rousson (FR) // Alex Hudson (UK)
CURATED BY: Bibi Katholm
LOCATION:   Helene Nyborg Contemporary, St. Kongensgade 40 H, 1264 Copenhagen K.
GRAND OPENING:  Friday 18. March 2011, 5pm – 7pm.
Including a live performance by Reverend Shine Snake Oil Co.
OPENING HOURS:   Tuesday – Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday 11am-2pm and by appointment.

These days…
These days potential catastrophes are everywhere you look. The world is so full of danger, threats, stress, overload and insecurity, and most of the time it feels very likely that we are all going to be dead soon, the only question is when, exactly? Assuming that we, against all odds, survive the terrifying pitfalls of the future that lies ahead, is creativity going to be the thing that saves us? What kind of art would a generation of unlikely survivors produce, and where would they find their inspiration?
This exhibition represents a joining of forces between 11 contemporary artists from Berlin, London and Copenhagen, all travelling down similar creative paths, investigating the power of ritual, visions of the future, and a kind of “supernatural” presence that sometimes reveals itself during the creative process.

This is the 3rd version of In Case We Don’t Die. Prior to the Copenhagen version the exhibition has been on show in Berlin (Chaussestraße 105) and in London (Vegas Gallery) during 2010.

For further information: