Writing: Cabin Fever Part One:
A new commission curated by Launch Pad founder Sarah Elson and artist Heman Chong, was the occasion for five international artists to gather for an innovative 24-hour writing workshop on the 14th of July. The artists arrived at 12 noon at Ms Elson’s London residence and spent exactly one full day and night together on site.
The participating artists all make work in which text has played a central role. Through a series of exercises and prompts introduced by Chong, the artists spent the 24 hours generating raw material that will form the basis for five new short stories that the artists will write independently. Their deadline is the 1st of September, and the five resulting stories will be memorialised in a publication, Writing: Cabin Fever to be launched early next year with an In Conversation event open to the public that will feature a discussion between the artists and a noted speaker, and a performance by artist Benjamin Seror. The publication will be available for purchase at selected bookshops.
The participating artists are Heman Chong (Singapore), who plays the role of co-curator and artist, Travis Jeppesen (Berlin), Isabel Nolan (Dublin), Benjamin Seror (Paris), and Maria Taniguchi (Manila).
Though Part One was necessarily an event closed to the public, it was recorded with up-to-the-minute tweets on Twitter and photos on Instagram (@launchpadart). The 24 hours were also chronicled by journalist Zoe Brennan, who will write an observational essay for the publication, and by photo journalist Simon Townsley, whose images feature on the website.
Heman Chong (b 1977) is an artist whose work is located at the intersection of image, performance, situations and writing. This year he had a solo exhibition at the South London Gallery. Chong will lead the workshop and is the co-curator of this Launch Pad commission. Chong has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including expo zero, Tate Modern, Take me (I’m yours), Monnaie de Paris, The Great Ephemeral, New Museum, Time of Others, The National Museum of Art in Osaka, When we share more than ever, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Medium at Large, Singapore Art Museum.
Travis Jeppesen (b 1979) is an American writer and artist who works in the medium of language. Jeppesen has written novels, poetry, art criticism, and a form of writing called object-oriented writing, an example of which was exhibited at the 2014 Whitney Biennial as an audio installation.
Isabel Nolan (b 1974) makes sculpture, fabric-hangings, paintings, texts and works on paper. In concert they work to elucidate a consistent line of inquiry into the basic question of how meaning is produced. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at The Irish Museum of Art (2014). In 2015, Nolan was commissioned by Launch Pad to produce A Thing is Mostly Space, an outdoor sculpture for a private residence in New York City.
Benjamin Seror (b 1979) is an artist and musician who engages speech as his principal subject and tool. Seror narrates stories that weave together literature, art history and ordinary life, often accompanying them with different musical instruments. His most recent performed work, Mime Radio, was exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Maria Taniguchi (b 1981) is best known for her ongoing series of large “brick” paintings in which she arranges a consistent grid pattern into different surface configurations. The performative and labour-intensive nature of these paintings makes the idea of time and duration especially salient in her practice. In 2015, she was awarded the Hugo Boss Asia Art prize.