24 September – 16 October 2021
In early 2020, we commissioned George Saxon to develop a short artist lab residency, using film and performance to deconstruct the expansive archival prompts and traces that closely inform his practice. We considered how we could open out the methods and stories behind the experimental film works he produced as part of the late 1970’s – 80’s underground scene, from the film labs of Camden to the artists’ squat communities in the East End of London. Places and projects within which George and his late partner D. John Briscoe played significant roles.
Then, in March, a national lockdown was abruptly announced. With vulnerable health, the artist was at risk. George, and fellow artist Ryan Sehmar, took the decision to shield, and the residency was revised, to operate in a remote, enclosed, safe space. The construction of a new studio was undertaken together as part of a year-long residency, to re-imagine worlds under curfew during a shared self-isolation. From this space they broadcast live, on Instagram, with a short series of events, referred to as interludes and intervals; fragile tensions and antagonisms presented by their encounters with the exterior world, and with the archive.
‘Spect. Anon.’ is a moniker under which George Saxon and D. John Briscoe envisioned a series of ongoing works; performances, writings, drawings, film, audio and video that began in 1976. These propositions often described as ‘constructions of events’, drew as much from Situationist writings as from personal myth-making. This speculative approach described by George was prompted by the Genesis P. Orridge statement which opens the accompanying publication (NOTES FOR PROGRAMME 2, ‘THREE ABSENT GUESSED, New British Avant-Garde FILMS, Edinburgh Film Festival ’78). The resulting exhibition at Vivid Projects, draws together transitional performances first streamed live on Instagram alongside archival material and new films.
Opening on 24 September with a live performance of 42’ (42 YEARS – 42 FRAMES) – a special moment, as the duo return to live work in front of an audience for the first time since the pandemic began. Click Here to book.
As the exhibition closes, this action will be mirrored with a closing performance from the Spect. Anon studio, streamed on 16 October at 4pm. Visit the gallery for the closing live stream, or watch online. Click here to register.