Beatrice Gibson – Crone Music – Camden Arts Centre
Crone Music presents two new, interconnected films by British artist Beatrice Gibson, alongside an expanded events programme in Camden Arts Centre’s Gallery 3; featuring the artists, poets, musicians and wider community with whom the films have been made. Borrowing its title from American composer Pauline Oliveros’ 1990 album of the same name, the exhibition seeks out an explicitly feminist lineage through which to recast the syncretic, collective and participatory nature of Gibson’s practice.
I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead was filmed in part with CAConrad and Eileen Myles, two of the USA’s most significant living poets, on the eve of the 45th presidential inauguration in January 2017. Weaving together CAConrad and Myles’ words with those of other poets, footage shot through the following year in America and Europe, and intimate moments with her family, the film is a deeply personal work in which Gibson seeks out the power of ritual, casting the poet as a prophet navigating an alternative path in times of perilous authority.
Made as a companion piece, the second film Deux Soeurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs (Two Sisters who aren’t Sisters) is based on Gertrude Stein’s eponymously named screenplay, written in 1929 as European fascism was building momentum. Gibson’s adaptation, set almost a century later in contemporary Paris, deploys Stein’s script as a talismanic guide through a contemporary moment of comparable social and political unrest. An original soundtrack, written especially for the film by British composer Laurence Crane, responds to the repetition, duplication and duality at play in Stein’s script. Both a fictional thriller and an act of collective representation, Deux Soeurs proposes empathy and friendship as means to reckon with an increasingly turbulent present.
Devised by Gibson in collaboration with friend and architect Dominic Cullinan, Gallery 3 has been designed to reflect the artist’s production ethos. Just as Gibson called upon friends and extended communities to help make her films, Camden Arts Centre has borrowed furniture and other items requested by the film’s participants from a network of local partners and individuals. Gallery 3 will also host an expanded programme of readings, screenings, performances, talks, workshops, meetings and residencies led by the films’ collaborators. Rooted in feminist and queer discourse, these will include a Radical Reading Sit-In with Eileen Myles; one-to-one Personalized (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals with CAConrad; and a week of experimental music composition and concerts with Laurence Crane, drawing on the work of Pauline Oliveros. Also presented is a screening programme curated by Gibson of moving image works by filmmakers and friends from whom the artist has drawn inspiration, including Chantal Akerman, Basma Alsharif, Barbara Hammer, Laida Lertxundi, Chick Strand, Public Access Poetry and Ana Vaz.
Working at the intersection of art, feminism, expanded cinema, experimental literature and film, Crone Music explores friendship, feeling, empathy and solidarity as tools for individual and collective agency in an ever more unsettled world.