Film (25mins) - Collaboration with Georgie Ryan
Projected onto plywood
Installation - Biscuit collective
Steamy Yum Yum
Steamy yum yum is a collaborative pop up exhibition featuring the work of: Gravy Daniels, Georgie Ryan, Rachel Mortlock, Joe Morgan and Charlie Pritchard. An installation containing sculpture, photography, moving image and publications.
Private View: 27th May 6pm-9pm
Opening times: 28th - 29th May from 11:00-16:00 May
62 Church Street
Here’s a tip, imagine you are looking for loose change under the sofa, you are bored enough to find some loose change, not that much, a convenient amount to buy yourself a biscuit or a snack, you could break into a fiver or a tenner, but you have the time, on this particular day, to search under the sofa, because you suspect that there is the exact right amount of change needed. The fact that you have this time to look for a small amount of change means that you are open to new experiences when you lift up the cushions you don’t know what you might find and you may even be prepared to occupy yourself for a small amount of time with what you will find there, an old TV remote, an old magazine, a pair of pliers with a red wine stain. Could that be red wine? or have you uncovered something about the sofa that you never previously known before? It is after all, a relatively old, secondhand sofa, and you didn’t think to check under the pillows for anything before you bought it at the second hand car boot sale. Come to think of it, the seller left soon after the sale, he also didn’t want to touch it or get any finger prints or the pleather surface. Is this dark, eye shaped stain really red wine? It’s blacker and slightly crusty at the thicker end. You put down the pliers and search under the slightly larger pillows underneath. There are numerous packs of confectionary lining the bottom layer of the sofa and there is slightly more money than you expected. It doesn’t go deeper than this, you have reached the bottom of the sofa, but not the mystery that has been laid out before you.
It is through this story that we lay out to you these questions, what are you going to do about it? Do you use the tool to make something new? Do you investigate the stain? Do you buy the biscuits? We would like you to note the possibilities of any given encounter in the space and then take the actions that you think are the right thing to do.
you’re afraid that if you pull the thread out of the sofa then it may fall apart
A Steamy yum yum is a fresh yum yum, one that lets the aromas of transformation go into the air, to create an atmosphere. Supermarkets engineer the smell fresh bread, shopping centers at Christmas time release the smell of cinnamon, when thinking about the construction of pleasantry, the everyday comforts produce an ominous undercurrent.
Steamy Yum Yum rests on the ambiguity of banal pleasantry or confectionary and sinister, deeply webbed undercurrent of systems. The objects and forms become the clues to uncovering a wider system, much like the gutters, directing liquid underground, pointing to an undercurrent.
Hard gutters and silicone snacks.
The small holes in the top of a bourbon are to allow steam to escape during the baking process and prevent cracking or breaking. The formal motifs of confectionary are the product of a process of making and experimentation. The name of the lotus biscuit is a call for a calm, contemplative break to match the slow serene pace of the moving image and the feint ambient sounds of rural locations. Bold pastel forms mark a process of forming, drying and repeating.
The prominent features of the first encounter with Steamy Yum Yum are hunger-inducing sculptural works by Rachel Mortlock. The sculptures dress the space like a shop of confectionaries; pastel colored plaster and jesmonite components with silicone biscuits scattered across crisp, muted concrete.
The initial seduction of the exhibition leads onto a still, anticipatory moving image work by Georgie Ryan and Charlie Pritchard. An illuminated section of the stage projects a video with ambient rural soundscapes punctuated by the sound of momentary events. A rock falls, a string snaps, a scene cuts. Looking even closer at the details of the exhibition we find further photographs by Georgie Ryan nestled into the intimate spaces, flattened surfaces, small photographic events intervene in the crevices of the installation.
Around the structure, Joe Morgan’s rhythmic compositions reflect urban architectural motifs. As the ‘Lotus’ biscuit suggests, these compositions demand contemplation, both from the steady-handed process by which they are made and the meditations on the spaces in which they are installed.
Further into the weeds of the exhibition, there is the encounter with Gravy Daniels’ reference to the bazar tale of late whistleblower Karen Silkwood. She mysteriously died on the 13th November 1974 after assembling the documentation about her concerns over the health and safety practice in a corporate nuclear facility that manufactures plutonium pellets. Aside from her mysterious death that was framed as a motoring accident, she also had 400 times the legal limit for plutonium exposure.
This begs the question, what is emitted from the collaborative process in Steamy Yum Yum? An aroma of sweetness mixed with an aura of suspicion? Is this feeling a pleasant or menacing construct? The menace in the construction of emotion comes across in TV show Mad Men, during a scene where Don Draper boasts about his influence on the American psyche:
"When you mean love you mean a big lightning bolt to the heart, where you can't eat and you can't work, and you just run off and get married and make babies. The reason you haven't felt it is because it doesn't exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.”
Objects in the installation, like the gutters, point to an undercurrent or system that pulls against their surface appearances. If the loose ends and unsettling signs are followed, they take you through a thoroughly ambiguous process, whether it be an artistic process or a narrative of tricks, jokes and illusions.
The flamboyant, discarded confectionary are like repeated one-liners on the one hand, on the other, they are caught in a systemic subversion. The ‘multi layered’ bourbon, the ‘twist’ in the Yum Yum and the ‘lotus’ biscuit become a gesture toward the process of contemplating the obfuscated narratives that weave through the multifaceted layers of the exhibition.
What could summarize this exhibition of parlor tricks, is something in the culture of Steam. While steam is produced by a transformative process, it can also veil something in obscurity and mystery. Like the smoke and mirrors in phantasmagoria shows, steam becomes the screen of frightful projections of skeletons, demons or ghosts. The flat sheets of material around which the installation is supported becomes the site of projections that obscure the everyday.