VOLTA6 Basel
David Cotterrell   Nicky Coutts   Karin Kihlberg and Reuben Henry   Heather and Ivan Morison
16 - 20 June 2010
David Cotterrell

David Cotterrell 1:25 2010 oak

David Cotterrell - 1:25
For Volta 6 Cotterrell will show 1:25, a modular, miniature artwork suggesting children’s toys like Lego and Meccano. The work can be endlessly built and rebuilt to create defensive barriers across coffee tables or gallery floors. The work references Hill33, a massive earthwork, due to begin construction in the Forest of Dean, UK, in the summer of 2010, a work that will recycle two thousand tons of landfill (originally taken from the Forest as the result of open cast mining) to produce a sculpture of grandiose proportions and employing indigenous waste and the construction materials of conflict.

David Cotterrell is an installation artist working across varied media including video, audio, interactive media, artificial intelligence, device control and hybrid technology. His work exhibits political, social and behavioral analyses of the environments and contexts, which he and his work inhabit. Over the last ten years, his work has been extensively commissioned and exhibited in North America, Europe and the Far East, in gallery spaces, museums and within the public realm. Recent exhibitions include: Eastern Standard: Western Artists in China at MASS MoCA, Massachusetts, War and Medicine at the Wellcome Collection, London and Map Games at the Today Museum of Modern Art, Beijing and Birmingham City Art Gallery. He is Professor of Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University and has been a consultant to strategic masterplans, cultural and public art policy for urban regeneration, healthcare and growth areas.
As St. Joseph Levitation by Nicky Coutts

Nicky Coutts As St Joseph Levitation 2009 C-type print

Nicky Coutts - Levitations
A series of photographs of attempted levitations based on existing imagery of others who have either been prone to levitation (e.g. St Joseph of Cupertino), have attempted to fly (e.g. the artist Yves Klein, and based on his attempts, Paul McCarthy), or are represented moving between the mortal and immortal worlds, such as Bosatsu’s and Amida’s flotation on Clouds and the Japanese Pure Land sect.
Nicky Coutts works primarily with film, video and photography, but also with sculpture and installation. Her work has been shown widely in the UK and internationally. She has been awarded a six-month fellowship at Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral from April 2010. Her work will also be shown this coming year at Ha Gamle Prestegard, Norway, Stedefreunde, Germany, Youkobo Art Space, Japan and at Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London. Coutts’ work often contains elements of collage, or the reuse of materials such as film clips, paintings and photographs. Recent work includes ‘A Tower in the Minds of Others’, a stack of three English garden sheds reminiscent of a pagoda, overlooking the Japanese Garden as part of the Tatton Park Biennial (2008). She has also recently completed two films involving non-professional actors re-enacting scenes from feature films in specific locations. ‘Passing Place’ (2009) is set at a remote crossroads in Northumberland. Local people were invited to take parts in a series of episodes that re-enact scenes from existing films where the theme of the crossroads is significant. From Paolo Pasolini’s ‘Oedipus Rex’ to Robert Zemeckis’s ‘Castaway’ six of these re-visitations are shot in a single location. ‘Eastern’ (2010) similarly involves the locals who visit a park in the suburbs of Tokyo to re-enact the last scene in Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’. Leone and Japanese director Akira Kurosawa were locked in a legal battle over the copyright of a story. The cultural translations, interpretations and mis-interpretations at work in ‘Eastern’ seek to contribute to this debate. Coutts has worked as a writer, editor and lecturer most recently in critical and historical studies at The Royal College of Art, London and as Fine Art Fellow at Middlesex University.
Dead Actor No.2 Pencil on paper 29.7 x 42cm, 2009, by Karin Kihlberg & Reuben Henry

Karin Kihlberg & Reuben Henry Dead Actor No.2 2009
pencil on paper 29.7 x 42cm

Karin Kihlberg and Reuben Henry - Acting Dead Series
The series of drawings depicts actors dead on films. The drawings function as a study of a fictive event. As the frame is stilled, the quality of the face, its gravity and its gaze are being studied in detail. Using the traditional technique of drawing as a means to understand, to see and to observe the seriousness of what can be defined as an ultimate truth of life, the image is placed in tension with its fictive origins.
Karin Kihlberg (SE) and Reuben Henry (UK) have been collaborating since 2004. Using an interdisciplinary approach their work explores how documentation, representation, and narratives are utilised by contemporary culture as routes to comprehend and consume the contemporary paradigm. In 2009 they were awarded the first prize for the ASPEX Emergency 4 exhibition with their work Performance #1, #2 & #3 . Recent group exhibitions include Art Futures at Bloomberg Space, Art Summer University at Tate Modern, The 100 ideas Festival at Hayward Gallery, Please Excuse my Appearance at Ikon Gallery and Cut my Legs of and Call Me Shorty at Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm. They have exhibited in solo exhibitions at Citric Gallery in Italy, Centre des Arts Actuels SKOL in Canada as part of Les Mois de la Photo á Montréal and at Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, UK. Kihlberg and Henry are currently working as researchers in the fine art department at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Heather & Ivan Morison

Heather & Ivan Morison Brick Stack 2010
timber varnish

Heather & Ivan Morison - birds in flight and bricks
The work of Heather & Ivan Morison is directly informed by both their experiences travelling the globe and intense observation at their arboretum in Wales. In their practice, the Morisons have combined these experiences with investigations into the ideas of others who have been inspired by the natural world from Buckminster Fuller’s concepts to the personal philosophies of “New Age Gypsies” in the American southwest. The results are sculptures and installations: a large kite whose design is informed by mineral samples found in Quartzite, Arizona (The Opposite of All Those Things, 2008); a tearoom housed in a morphed geodesic dome clad in felled wood from its surroundings at Tatton Park Biennial 2008 (I’m so sorry. Goodbye. (Escape Vehicle number 4); a jack-knifed semi-truck in Bristol spilling its cargo of 25,000 flowers (I lost her near Fantasy Island. Life has not been the same, 2006) and a barricade of urban detritus blocking a street in Wellington, New Zealand (Journée des barricades, 2008). These pieces examine the intricacy, the wonder and the alien in the natural world and the tension inherent in our relationship to it. The Morisons were selected to represent Wales in the first Welsh pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale of Art. Recent exhibitions include The Shape of Things to Come, Situations, University of West of England, Bristol, Mythologies, Haunch of Venison, London, Radical Nature, Barbican, London.

For Volta 6 the Morisons will present new sculptural and installation works that are examinations of abandoned cities of North America, of an optimistic architecture in ruins, made light and fragile through burning, lifting high above the ground, moving with the wind - a floating city of ghost forms.