Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Video Interviews from Folkestone Triennial 2014: Lookout

Folkestone Triennial: Lookout
30 August – 2 November 2014

For the third edition of this bustling summer exhibition, curator Lewis Biggs has invited a selection of internationally renowned and local artists to produce 21 new art works in response to specific sites across town. Indoors and out, they rejuvenate existing locations and create new community spaces. From Baroque-style lighthouse-beach huts to camping bases jutting out from the highest point of the tallest hotel in town; from the soundtrack of a sobbing woman to a plexiglass and neon hop garden. This is a festival where no stone has been left unturned.

Studio International went on a coastal tour and managed to speak to a number of those involved, both artists and organisers.

Alastair Upton is Chief Executive of The Creative Foundation, an independent visionary arts charity, seeking to rejuvenate Folkestone through creative activity. As well as restoring more than 90 buildings in the Creative Quarter and building the Quarterhouse arts venue, they are also the people behind the Triennial and its lasting legacy of permanent art works around town. Upton speaks to us about the changes he has seen in Folkestone, thanks to the Foundation, and about how community projects and art works, such as the creation of Payers Park, leave their mark.

Lewis Biggs is this year’s Curator, invited to join the Triennial after 11 years as Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Liverpool Biennial. He was also Director of Tate Liverpool from 1990-2000. Biggs speaks to us about the challenges of working with “real life” and how he sees his role as curator.

Fresh from his incredible journey with Nowhereisland, Alex Hartley speaks to us from his lookout atop the Grand Burstin Hotel. With a vigil being held for the duration of the Triennial, we were lucky enough to experience the view on a wonderfully sunny day. 

Jyll Bradley, a native of Folkestone, has returned to the town to create a wonderful homage to the Kentish hop gardens with which she grew up. Her work invites viewers to walk among the strings and green plexiglass and neon poles and to enjoy three very different views across town. Constructed on the site of the old gasworks, the circular form also makes reference to the gasometer that once stood in this place.

Pablo Bronstein, whose Sketches for Regency Living graced the walls of the ICA this summer, has brought to life a sculpture based on the ideas of 18th century architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. A grey beach hut, next to an empty container, with a non-functioning lighthouse extending above – Bronstein explains to us why he hates beach huts and all things about them.

Emma Hart’s work is full of anxiety. Located in an empty domestic space on Tontine Street, it fills the rooms with outlines of glasses, remnants of a party, and video screens which scream out, both in desolation and invitation. Hart feels under pressure but takes the time to talk to us about how this manifests.

rootoftwo’s work also responds to anxiety, but by measuring social media and people’s response to and production of fear on the Internet. Five whithervanes, at locations across town, spin and light up in different colours according to the messages they are picking up. The artists explain to us how the system works and how visitors – and even those across the globe – can interact and have an impact on the whithervanes’ activity.

No comments:

Post a Comment