Nick Jordan

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Cartwright & Jordan

e-mail:
nick@nickjordan.info

 

 

Rub-a-dub-dub
Jacob Cartwright, Nick Jordan and Stephen McNeilly

04/05/07 to 17/06/07
Projektraum exex, St. Gallen, Switzerland

For installation views click here

Projektraum exex presents individual and collaborative work from three UK-based artists: Jacob Cartwright, Nick Jordan and Stephen McNeilly. The exhibition highlights the different approaches, connections, discords and dialogues that operate between each artist's practice, and illustrates an irreverent multiplicity at the centre of their work.

Cuttlefish figure prominently in Jacob Cartwright's I Told You So, part of three new paintings. One cuttlefish is squeezed purposefully by a dark hand, another lies dissected and discarded. Armed with a quill pen, another dark hand has drawn something in the middle of the painting, a conflation of malformed mouse, ear and mushroom cloud.


In a new set of drawings, Nick Jordan has singled-out three of Jacob Strutt's oaks, from his illustrated book Sylva Britannica, or Portraits of Forest Trees (1830). The twisted oaks have been modified with some exaggerated features, such as stag-headed branches and elongated withered boughs. Into each drawing, Jordan has added caricatures of himself, Cartwright and McNeilly; whimsically re-presenting and personalizing each fictional, bespoke tree portrait.

Stephen McNeilly's Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker are images of plasticine lumps, mauled and squeezed into ridiculous anthropomorphisms. Before being digitally animated, the plasticine becomes degraded in the quagmire of the artist's office. Stored in a desk draw they co-exist with McNeilly's personal detritus; acquiring material traces that are visible in his macro photographs and crude, lo-fi animations.

Projektraum exex will premiere a new collaborative film by Cartwright, Jordan and McNeilly: Descriptions and Sketches of Some Remarkable Oaks. The film depicts three protagonists (the artists themselves) climbing, measuring, photographing and documenting some aged or dead oak trees, dramatically revealed in the birch-coppiced clearings of Sherwood Forest. The soundtrack comprises of three mechanical/distorted voices, each with a different pitch, reading William Cowper's epic unfinished poem Yardley Oak, written in 1791. Cowper presents the twisted and ancient oak as a totemic monument to a shared English identity, through which the inevitability of time's dissolution and decay is brought home to roost.

The exhibition is titled after a traditional English nursery rhyme, which depicts the scurrilous behaviour of three audience members at a fair's bawdy side-show attraction:

Rub-a-dub-dub
Three men in a tub;
And who do you think they be?

The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker.
Turn 'em out Knaves, all three!

More on the artists:

Cartwright and Jordan regularly produce work together, with their on-going project, Würstundgritz, highlighting the contingencies and encounters of collaboration. Their book, Alien Invaders, was recently published (Book Works, 2006), and exhibitions together include Godwottery, Transition Gallery, London; The Goose Fair, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; Künstlerhaus, Castle Plüschow, Germany. They are currently undertaking a fellowship at The Manchester Museum. The exhibition expands their collaborative practice with McNeilly, who currently works with plasticine, photography and animation. McNeilly recently exhibited at Vertigo Gallery, London and Redux, London; publications include In Search of the Absolute (2004); Between Method & Madness (2005); The Commonplace Book (Dedecus Press, 2007).

projektraum exex. Oberer Graben 38, CH-9000 St.Gallen, Switzerland
e-mail: exex@visarteost.ch

Supported by

 

Jacob Cartwright, Nick Jordan and Stephen McNeilly
'Wurstundgritzmitbrutti: Taxidermy', 2007