ephemeropteræ 2013/12 – Peter Gidal, David Adjaye, Chicks on Speed

The grand ephemeropteræ finale features the avant-garde film maker and theoretician Peter Gidal, the architect David Adjaye and the neo-feminist, rebellious-warrior female artist collective Chicks on Speed. Several key works in Gidal’s oeuvre, such as Denials (1986), No Night No Day (1997), and Clouds (1969) are screened at Augarten—precisely those films that influenced Cerith Wyn Evans, the eclectic Welsh artist exhibited at TBA21–Augarten at the time. David Adjaye, one of the leading architects in Great Britain speaks of his research in new urban geographies, which he is laying out in an extensive publication about African architecture. Projects such as Europolis or Urban Africa form the starting point of his practice of experimentation, reflection and theoretical contextualization- an almost philosophical endeavor, bringing forth typologies that question current conditions and future trajectories. Perform Ants Inter View God Ono Duality High Heal Good Buy by Chicks on Speed transforms the AU Café into a “big bang of wire crossings”: a party filled with incomplete concepts, songs, sketches, and half finished Apps ready to be downloaded to create instruments from high heels and iPads in order to test the boundaries of spoken word and performance under the premise “What if you have to do what you have to do, to make things happen.” (Chicks On Speed)
David Adjaye
David Adjaye, considered to be one of the leading (and most accomplished) U.K. designers of his generation, has developed a reputation as an architect with an artist‘s sensibility and vision. Among his many (grand) projects, Adjaye designed the ephemeropteræ open air stage at TBA21–Augarten in 2012, fusing beautiful design, conceptual astuteness, and hospitality as well as the Your black horizon pavilion in collaboration with Olafur Eliasson (Lopud Island, 2005). His ingenious use of materials, bespoke design and ability to sculpt and showcase light have gained him widespread recognition from both the architectural community and the wider public.

A current focus in Adjaye’s practice is the exploration of a possible definition of African architecture based on an extensive research of “new geographies.” Adjaye extensively travelled the African continent and visited 53 major cities in order to map, with the help of digital photography, the trajectories in architecture, urbanism, and landscape, eventually publishing his research in “Africa · Architecture: A Photographic Survey of Metropolitan Architecture”. Six individual volumes present cities according to the terrain in which they are situated—the Maghreb, Desert, The Sahel, Savannah and Grassland, Mountain and Highveld, and Forest. Each city is presented through a concise history, fact file, maps and satellite images, along with Adjaye’s own travel notes and dozens of photographs of the city’s civic, commercial and residential architecture. 

Adjaye speaks about the research component of his practice, which is vital to the creative discourse that drives his built work. The research provides an overarching framework for experimentation, reflection and theoretical connections. This philosophical curve is an essential context for challenging typologies, engaging with historical references and offering a fresh approach to the contemporary condition and its future trajectories. Adjaye presents projects such as Europolis—a study of the European city as a reduction—as well as Urban Africa—a unique geo-cultural catalogue profiling the African city in a global context. In addition, he talks about a range of built work—including the Moscow School of Management and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History.

David Adjaye, born 1966 in Tanzania, lives and works in London. His projects are diverse in scale, audience, and geography; including collaborations with artists such as Chris Ofili and Olafur Eliasson, exhibition design, temporary pavilions, and private homes both in the U.K. and New York. His largest project to date is the SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management and the redesign of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History. Adjaye understands his function as a role model for young people and lectures frequently. He was the first Louis Khan visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and was the Kenzo Tange Professor in Architecture at Harvard's Graduate School of Design.

Peter Gidal
“Two minutes into No Night No Day, I would have thought, is as lost to one as anything else in the world at that moment of perception being so impossible as to provide the viewer with no hold.” In his longstanding career as structural materialist filmmaker and as author and theoretician of avant-garde film Peter Gidal has strived to fight any notion of illusion, metaphor or representation, and to break the audience from the identification processes all together. “An avant-garde film defined by its development towards increased materialism and materialist function does not represent, or document, anything” writes Gidal and disengages and launches the audience into a kind of free fall with nothing to hold on to, into a state of mere existence. His main tool is the use of light, or rather its absence, as to him light eradicates image as much as darkness. As Cerith Wyn Evans’ tutor at London’s Royal College of Art, Gidal had great impact on the Welsh artist’s understanding of time, space, and light to subvert systems of representation and knowledge incorporated in images and language. His talk was accompanied by screenings of No Night No Day (1997), Denials (1986) and Clouds (1969).

Peter Gidal, born 1946 in Switzerland studied theatre, psychology and literature at Brandeis University, Massachussets (1964–68) and at the University of Munich (1966–67). From 1968 until 1971 he was a student at the Royal College of Art, where he went on to teach Advanced Film Studies until 1984. His films have been screened nationally and internationally, for example at the Tate Gallery, the Hayward Gallery, and yearly (since 1969) at the Edinburgh Film Festival and the National Film Theatre. Gidal has had retrospectives of his films at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1983), Centre George Pompidou, Beaubourg, Paris (1996), amongst others. 
Chicks On Speed
– Perform Ants Inter View God Ono Duality High Heal Good Buy

… what if the pieces of the past year come flying at you, pieces of conversations, interviews, announcements, song sketches, half developed sketches of apps that still have bugs and refrains that are out of context.

 … what if the audio layers are mismatched, how does a freaking high heeled shoe become a instrument and how do you play wikileaks latest posted cables? Where do tricksters come from and why do the tricksters move this world? Word of mouth information, collected, told read layered and thrown out, into space. Bring your iPad & perhaps you can receive a unfinished app to play with us or play with your lover or children. What if you have to do what you have to do, to make things happen? Fluxuation.

In their newly conceived and highly political performance developed for the finale of TBA21 ephemeropteræ Perform Ants Inter View God Ono Duality High Heal Good Buy, Chicks on Speed present their brutally eclectic and utterly “transparent” performance style by staging streams from iPads and projections, interactions with audience members, sounds and an overload of content, which will burst from the stage and recklessly hit the audience like a tsunami of a 2.0 reality.

Chicks on Speed use the fierce and rebellious women warrior collective established in 1997 in Munich as a production mechanism for the creation of instantaneous video, sound and music recordings, fabrics/textiles, sculpture, paintings, drawings, photographs, poetry prose/lyrics, clothing, performance and live concerts. They deploy references to existing musical styles (electroclash), appropriate household art performance features and fist-waving feminist statements, they sport outrageous costumes and work with disturbance, detritus, and DIY— all woven and compiled into pieces, oscillating between pop cliché and art performance. Some of these things everyone knows but no one talks about, some things are readily seen but never share the same stage. The ultimate outrage of their collaboration is the notion of “pop perverting art, criticizing the machine whilst composing its parts—the veneer of craft disguised as superstardom.”

Chicks on Speed is a collective of female artists created in 1997 by Alex Murray-Leslie, Kiki Moorse and Melissa Logan. The collective has grown to be a multidisciplinary group developing projects which are enriched by artistic collaborations, e.g. with Douglas Gordon, Angela Richter and Julian Assange, amongst others. They collaborated with TBA21 on Art Rules in 2007, LIVE, LUSCIOUS AND LOUD
10-Year-Anniversary and the Art Dump vinyl in 2012. 
September 20, 2013 from 7 pm
Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
TBA21–Augarten, Scherzergasse 1A, 1020 Vienna, Austria
supported by
Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein
curated by
Daniela Zyman and Boris Ondreička
Free admission