Shipsides & Beggs - Wave Frontier - Pau, France
An exhibition (as part of a group exhibition titled No Shooting in this Area – see below) of Dan Shipsides, Neal Beggs and collaborative artworks under the umbrella of Shipsides and Beggs Projects.
The wooden bombs were made by Neal in 2011, the star video (Mortar | Device) by Dan in 2011. The wall drawings are new works by SBP – the star fence design motif is a development from a small wire fence we made in 2015 in Belgium and the wire twist a developing motif we’ve incorprated for several years.
Along with the exhibition we developed a music/sound work Wave Frontier (30min Live performance) which we performed at the opening (19th April 2016) which combines old time songs, with Shipsides and Beggs songs and the overall composition is structured throughout with a new score composition derived in part from the French - Spanish border's elevation from Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
A rough live recording of this is on soundcloud here.
It is our ambition to find an opportunity to record properly this in a decent studio but the live version carries a fidelty to the approach of the live moment.
The exhibition 'No Shooting in this Area' focus on war, and conflict, in both a direct and indirect way. Works by several different artists including SBP, and from different countries, are presented in the exhibition. For our part we presented an arsenal of wooden bombs with construction manual, a star animation video and wall drawings based on wires, stars and fences. Our music presentation / happening on the opening night follows on from this theme, but is better understood as being a stage in our ongoing research area or umbrella poetic which we term 'Still Not Out of the Woods' and should be thought of as a general and personal comment on the post World Wars western cultural dynamics since the 1920's and corresponds to the influences that have played on and shaped our respective lives, music and art being fundamental to both of us.
Another strong influence for SBP has and continues to be mountains and stars, which once you start to look at from a contemporary art point of view, seem to touch either directly or metaphorically on just about every subject under the sun. One such topic being frontiers and nation, mountains often denote physical frontiers and stars are often used within symbolic national identity, the EU for example, and there are many more. Frontiers are basically the partition of land, and it is this word partition that led us into translating the elevation of mountain frontiers into musical partition (another name for a musical score)- a concept we first developed from Via Ferrata wires (Iron Way - WW1 mountaineering routes) into fence wires then into guitar string wires.
The music that we played at Pau is based on the elevation of the Spanish and French frontier that traverses the Pyrenees. In addition to this music we also interweave it with some traditional public domain (Old Time) songs from America which speak about mountains, pilgrims, wondering souls etc, a reference maybe to the timeless nature of the refugee. These songs are, Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow, and Going Across the Mountain. We have adapted these songs to fit the moment, but its easy to find other versions of these songs by various artists on the net. The song 'Still Not out of the Woods' is an original SBP work. Young French artist and musician, Brice Aulin joined us to play rhythm guitar in this performance.
No Shooting in this Area - Le Bel Ordinaire - espace d'artcontemporain, Pau, France
'No Shooting in this Area' curated by Émilie Flory and Cécile Archambeaud from 'image / image' at the Bel Ordinaire in Pau, France.
No Shooting in this Area, which is named after a photo by Lee Friedlander approaches the topic of war in a very broad sense, and concentrates neither on one particular historical period nor on a specific geographical zone.
A change of perspective is neccessary for the purpose of the exhibition to unfold - by focussing on how the contemporary artists express the idea of violence, power, war or conflict rather than showing explicit images, and by choosing evocative counterpoints closer to poetry, imaginary or humour.
Is it possible to speak about violence without showing it ? Can we reconsider History without narrating it ? How can art and contemporary artists shed a new light on past and current conflicts ? How do they manage to testify without falling into political speeches, or emitting a judgement ?
Selected artworks mix the artistic disciplines and mediums of representation. They introduce a distance between the seriousness of the topic and the form they take. It’s precisely this distance that the curators found interesting ; or how the artist offers an alternative to the speeches and the usual representations of war and its consequences.
Curators : Émilie Flory et Cécile Archambeaud - centre d’art image/imatge