We caught up with Anne Duffau who has been running an exploratory curatorial platform named A—Z at StudioRCA. One of the main aims of the organisation is to push the boundaries of what an exhibition can be, as well as what curating actually means.
Tell us about your work to date at StudioRCA?
A- – -Z is a morphic entity, it infiltrates unusual spheres, a bit like a virus. Flexible in its format, it offers a platform for practitioners to trigger experiments – looking at what’s happening in art, speculative design, music, ecology and more. Thinking on how a narrative is often used as a way to address socio-political concerns, A- – -Z started with a screening A– -Apocalypse at V22, with works by Anri Sala, Benedict Drew, Katja Davar, Chris Cunningham, Alicja Rogalska, The Otolith Group and many more.
This first event set the tone for an interest in sci-fi and fiction in order to address current issues. A- – -Z disseminates works through printed matter to create alternative distribution streams, using formats such as postcards, B—Beyond with Jon Rafman or a calendar Days of the Nones with 12 artists including Emma Hart, Markus Water, Alix Marie, Tai Shani and Doggerland, or a newspaper with the fashion designer Dinu Bodiciu and Kabukimono.
The platform also operates online with projects such as Status Quo; where artists were commisioned to make gifs in relation to their current concerns or moods, including Evan Ifekoya, Martha Rosler, Mark Leckey, Matt Calderwood, Keep it complex – make it clear, Patrick Staff and Erica Scourti.
For the past year, A- – -Z has been based in Nine Elms in a space called StudioRCA Riverlight, at the bottom of apartment towers close to Vauxhall. Exhibitions, discussions, and performances including DJ-ing, large-format video projections and dance have been taking place throughout. From May 2016 to September 2017, A- – -Z presented the Dusk Exhibition Series with Ifekoya, Daniel Shanken, Rehana Zaman, Chooc Ly Tan, Heather McCalden, Imran Perretta, Johann Arens, Karolina Lebek and Susannah Stark. Here they exhibited newly commissioned videos and installations for a month each, to get a sense of the experienced from outside the gallery space – fully visible only during the dark hours, and shown for the first time in London. A performance and or talk introduced the project and focused on themes including transgender, sci-fi and the post-human.
How does StudioRCA contribute and relate to the local community?
We work closely with a variety of organisations and events in Nine Elms on art and cultural platforms, from the London Architecture Festival to the Chelsea Fringe Festival, Up projects, Chocolate Films and Cultivate. Reaching our local audience is vital for us. We are delighted to announce that we have started working with MBE curator and MD at Olumide Galleries Eunice Olumide, who is the StudioRCA PR coordinator. She has been really supportive and a great member of the team. Joel Chan is our Technical Coordinator and helps us run our technical support and general organisation of the exhibition set up.
What do our readers have to look forward to in the future?
The forthcoming show with Vanessa da Silva titled ‘Stranger than Paradise’ is opening on the 7th of December from 6.30pm and will be running until the 28th of January. The exhibition will consist in a sculptural installation as well as a live performance in the new year. Using her own lived experiences as a starting point, she was born and raised in Brazil, now living in London for the last decade. Da Silva is interested in exploring the space between national traditions and the complicated borders where identities and cultures mix and meet. We have a series of solo presentations with private views, talks, performances and screenings coming up and stay tuned for the much anticipated work with Erica Scourti, Pio Abad, Larry Achiampong and more!