Exhibitions / 16 May - 21 June 2008


Show Time: 11.00am - 8.00pm

Jesse Jones
Jesse Jones’ commissioned 16mm film The Spectre and the Sphere evokes the spectres of ideology and amplifies residual voices that haunt the cultural vessels of history. It examines how the spaces of our popular imagining such as the theatre and the cinema are also containers of historical and political impulses. The Spectre and the Sphere conjures up a particular moment in the early twentieth century through the use of cultural artefacts, imagining the various historical potentialities of the time, and how these residues may be present in our construction of the future.
Cast (in order of appearance):
The Theremin
Although in 1919 Vladimir Lenin heralded the Theremin as being the sound and structure of the coming generations, this early potential dissipated and by the 1950’s the instrument was most commonly recognised in soundtracks to American B-movies. These cold war allegories used the Theremin as signifier for the “outsider”, the malevolent alien figure with “other” political views, which would arrive and destroy world.
Lydia Kavina

Lydia Kavina, the celebrated musical protégée and great-niece of the inventor Leon Theremin, is the first and only persona character in The Spectre and the Sphere. Opening against a backdrop of theatre, the improvising musician performs for a brief period a haunting refrain from the socialist and communist people’s anthem, The Internationale, capturing for a moment the web of relations and references that have woven this particular fabric of history.“The difference between inhabit and haunt becomes here more ungraspable than ever. Persons are personified by letting themselves be haunted by the very effect of objective haunting, so to speak, that they produce by inhabiting the thing. Persons (guardians or possessors of the thing) are haunted in return, and constitutively, by the haunting they produce in the thing by lodging there their speech and will like inhabitants.”

The Internationale was composed by the Belgian, Pierre de Geyter in 1888. De Geyter originates from Ghent, which is also the birthplace of The Spectre and the Sphere‘s third character, Vooruit. Translated as “forward”, Vooruit is a socialist castle built by Ferdinand Dierkens between 1910 and 1918. The project was instigated by the Vooruit collective, a socio-economic co-operative market initiative that circumvented the market system in Ghent in the late nineteenth century. Spanning multiple halls and rooms Vooruit had the ambition to overshadow the city’s tallest cathedral. However after the Second World War it fell into disrepair until being re-energised by a group of artists and activists in the 1980s. Now a flourishing centre for art, Vooruit is a living receptacle of history and culture; notation of de Geyter’s famous music floats permanently in the stained glass window over-looking the Theatre Hall, and emblazoned above the stage is “Kunst Veredelt” – Art Ennobles.
The Whisper Choir

Resonating throughout halls of the Vooruit we hear a whispering choir. This choir revisits Karl Marx’s iconic text, The Communist Manifesto extracting the spectral aspects of Marx’s prediction of how history would unfold. These choral voices guide us through the space of Vooruit revealing its hidden meanings and echoes of the past.“Two genres, two generations of movement intersect with each other in it, and that is why it figures the apparition of a spectre. It accumulates undecidably, in its uncanniness, their contradictory predicates: the inert thing appears suddenly inspired, it is all at once transfixed by a pneuma or a psyche.”Gallery of Cinema
The final chapter of the film directs itself towards the site of cinema. Here Lydia Kavina’s soundtrack revisits the film, accompanied by a visual score that illuminates and eliminates the gallery space. It confronts cinema as a sensorial space, playing with our sense of anticipation within the moment we become its spectators.“How do you recognise a ghost? By the fact that it does not recognise itself in a mirror. Since all of a sudden [the mirror] no longer plays its role, since it does not reflect back the expected image, those who are looking for themselves can no longer find themselves in it. Men no longer recognise in it the social character of their own labour. It is as if they were becoming ghosts in their turn.
These ghosts that are commodities transform human producers into ghosts. And this whole theatrical process (visual, theoretical, but also optical, optician) sets off the effect of a mysterious mirror.”
– all quotes from What is ideology?, from ‘Spectres of Marx’ 1994, Jacques Derrida
Six artists’ performances spanning two evenings in Project Arts Centre – Cube.
This black box theatre (used mainly for more experimental theatre/dance) is the venue for the performances which somehow alter their characteristics in this environment. Artists are using the space in different ways – combining presentations with film shoots, and performances with workshop development.
At what point will common sense prevail by Garrett Phelan
Phelan extracts and performs a ‘regurgitated monologue’ from his At what point will common sense prevail project. This project marks the second phase of a series of works by the artist exploring the ‘formation of opinion’. Together with the online sound works, an archive and broadcast mixes of the sound works for radio transmission, performances will be presented throughout a 5 year period.
For more information go to www.atwhatpointwillcommonsenseprevail.com

For Argument’s Sake (A companion film to ‘Théâtre de Poche’) by Aurélien Froment
For Argument’s Sake choreographs a series of images beneath the mechanical eye of a video camera. Exploring the process of making the video Théâtre de Poche, For Argument’s Sake presents a series of images and gestures referenced in successive interviews with three professionals whose respective activities involve image manipulations: an architect, a retoucher and a jigsaw puzzle maker.
The Whisper Choir by Jesse Jones
Beginning with a lecture about architecture and historical containers, The Whisper Choir performance relates strongly to Jones’ film and installation The Spectre and the Sphere, currently in Project’s Gallery, which has been extended until June 21st. The performance revisits the precision of the Theramin’s wavering voice, and extends the division between the performers and the performed beyond the barriers of the lit stage.
Song of Solomon by Ralph Borland & Julian Jonker
Song of Solomon is an aleatoric audio collage – where some compositional elements are left to chance – an 8-channel audio installation that samples many versions of ‘Mbube‘, aka ‘Wimoweh‘ aka ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight‘, in a sonic tribute to the song’s author, the late Solomon Linda. The sound installation both fragments and reorders compositional elements of this ‘song of songs’, questioning assumptions about compositional innovation and imitation that inform Western intellectual property law. In this jungle of sounds, the dead Author rests.
The Black Plum by Kevin Gaffney
The narrator of Kevin Gaffney’s new performance, derived from his video and slide installation of the same name, leads the audience through a series of readings and dialogue, in a call-and-response format. Introducing the characters who create the architecture of the oblique narrative of The Black Plum , Gaffney’s performance is a muted iteration of the highly theatrical and personally reflective artworks, and will feature the recent slide sequence included in his The Black Plum installation.
“It’s time, man. It feels imminent.” by Sarah Pierce
A short presentation about how people gather and organise, followed by an extended workshop. The audience will be asked to take part in a choreographed sequence of gestures that accompany quotes from bystanders at various political demonstrations. The resulting performance will be filmed as part of a new artwork.
Wednesday 18 June 7PM
Garrett Phelan – At what point will common sense prevail
Aurélien Froment – For Argument’s Sake (A companion film to ‘Théâtre de Poche’)
Jesse Jones – The Whisper Choir
Thursday 19 June 7PM
Ralph Borland & Julian JonkerSong of Solomon
Kevin Gaffney – The Black Plum
Sarah Pierce – “It’s time, man. It feels imminent.”


Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays

Skip to content