Preview: Thursday, 16 February 2012

Exhibition Run: 17 February - 16 March 2012

A project by Andy Holden

Curated by Fiona Parry

Including: The Language of the Flowers and the Stars

An exhibition within the Library with works by Ed Atkins, Ruth Beale, Steven Claydon, David Raymond Conroy, Michael Dean, Daniel Eatock, Grubby Mitts, Philip Jeck, Neal Jones, Mark Leckey, Georgina Leeson, Claes Oldenburg, Johnny Parry, Francesco Pedraglio, Heather Phillipson, Jason Rhoades, Philip Root and Kurt Vonnegut.

The Dan Cox Library for the Unfinished Concept of Thingly Time first appeared as a consequence of the tragic death of Dan Cox in February 2011, while he was curating Andy Holden’s exhibition at Kettle’s Yard.  Each week Dan, in his dual role of old friend and Theoretical Advisor, would visit Andy’s studio and the pair would record their conversations, taking Flaubert’s Bouvard et Pécuchet as a starting point.  The day before Dan’s death on his bike at Dalston Junction he had proposed a title for the exhibition: Chewy Cosmos, Thingly TimeChewy Cosmos is a slogan Dan found on the underside of a Cadbury’s Starbar, conjuring up images of ponderous masticatory dialogue and the possibility of consuming the known universe.  Thingly Time was to be Dan’s Great Theory, drawing on Marx and observations from Andy’s sculptures, of a three part-division of Time: Time as Intensive, Extensive, and Thingly.  On the morning of the day of his death Dan sketched notes on his idea of Thingly Time, then set out on his bike, colliding with a lorry, and leaving the theory of Thingly Time in its embryonic, unfinished form.

Dan’s Library, which first appeared at Kettle’s Yard, is a space containing all of his books, placed in relation to fragments from Andy’s sculptural projects. In the spirit of the pair’s collaboration, it is a space for dialogue, between ideas and words, things and art-objects.  Specially designed book cases stand on carpets, like small islands, screen-printed with extracts copied from Flaubert’s Bouvard et Pécuchet.  For Dan books themselves were of secondary importance: the words and ideas were tangible things with real affect. Books were vehicles, to lend, to exchange; an idea was nothing until it was devoured, regurgitated, and delivered to a willing recipient.  At Cubitt the Library continues, both as a memorial to Dan but also now as an active research Library: a space to attempt to understand, and elaborate upon, the nature of Thingly Time.

The Library at Cubitt also houses within it a small exhibition called The Language of the Flowers and the Stars.  Curated by Andy and taking it’s title from a poem by Raymond Radiguet, the display hopes to unravel the nature of Thingly Time through a selection of artists who, so far as we understand it, seem to make Thingly Time manifest.

Throughout the exhibition a weekly reading group will be held, exploring the nature of Thingly Time through the books in Dan’s Library, led by Francesco Pedraglio, artist and co-founder of FormContent.