For Jerwood Staging Series 2019 artist Rebecca Moss presented an evening of film, performance and discussion about feminism and slapstick comedy.
In early silent slapstick cinema, women’s bodies take a variety of shapes and forms. A performance as panel discussion explores ideas around humour, this slapstick body, and gender, comprising Elise Atangana, curator; Roshanak Khakban, artist and curator; Rebecca Moss, artist; Ruidi Mu, artist and researcher; Anna Smolak, curator; and chaired by Chantal Faust, artist and writer.
The panel discussion took place alongside an installation of overlooked silent slapstick cinema performances from the early 1900s and new and recent video works by Rebecca Moss.
Rebecca Moss is an artist based in Essex. Taking inspiration from slapstick and absurd comedy, she stages anti-monumental interventions on camera. While inspired by the site-responsive gestures and approaches of Psychogeographic and Situationist practice, she notes a distinct lack of feminist voices within these discourses. Her work manifests across a variety of media, but often takes the form of short edited videos documenting absurdist and humorous scenarios performed for camera. She was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize in 2017 and is currently a PEER Notices commissioned artist, PEER Gallery, Hoxton, London. rebeccamoss.co.uk
Élise Atangana is curator based in Paris. She is interested in the way mobilities, including the movements of people, ideas, objects, and services, affect our everyday lives. Exhibitions that she has curated include: BAWWABA, a new cross-section of the Global South at Art Dubaï (20th – 23rd 2019) comprising 10 solo shows introducing: Hamra Abbas, Kristoffer Ardena, José Chambel, Shezad Dawood, Gözde Ilikin, Chourouk Hriech, Wanja Kimani, Marcelo Moscheta, Sergio Sister, Adeela Suleman; The Power from Within (2018), La Galerie, Contemporary Art Center; France; and Seven Hills for the 2nd edition of Kampala Art Biennale 2016.
Dr Chantal Faust is an artist, writer, Senior Research Tutor and the Academic Curriculum Lead for the School of Arts & Humanities at the Royal College of Art. Faust organised and led the RCA’s Absurdity Research Group and she has staged and participated in numerous lectures and events focusing on absurdity and contemporary art. Recent exhibitions include Solitary Pleasures, Freud Museum, London (2018); Natur Blick, Koppel Project Hive, London (2018); and Antipodean Emanations, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne (2018). Faust’s monograph ‘Pleasure Machines: Towards a Philosophy of Scanning’ is due to be published by Bloomsbury in 2020.
Roshanak (Roshi) Khakban is an artist and curator. She graduated from Central Saint Martins with a BA in 2014 and a MA in 2016. She is interested in the humour that comes from of the anthromorphisation of everyday objects within different public/ private contexts. Selected group exhibitions include: The Tomorrow People, Elevator Gallery (2014), ‘WeLikeYou’, Rag Factory (2015), Hiding in Plain Sight, Flying Dutchman(2016), Antenna, Angus Hughes Gallery (2017). Selected curatorial projects include: The Missing Element, a show of moving images/performances, part of Wandsworth Arts Fringe (2018); Of Possible Configurations, A-side B-side Gallery (2018); and Army Time Memoir (2019), Ashurst Emerging Artists Gallery, Liverpool Street Station.
Dr Ruidi Mu is a Chinese artist and researcher based in London. Working in photography and installation she draws on everyday moments to question the relationship between art and life, often through absurdist means. She completes her PhD at Royal College of Art in 2019. www.ruidimu.com
Anna Smolak is an independent curator based in Krakow, Poland. Her research engages with contemporary institutional critique and the examination of alternative formats of collaboration and organisation. She has investigated the notion of locality, periphery and exclusion, with a focus on Eastern European and post-Soviet context and is author and (co)initiator of several platforms dedicated to the development of young art professionals from the region. Anna held a position of a chief curator at BWA SOKOL Contemporary Art Gallery in Nowy Sącz, Poland (2014-2016) and was juror, selector and curator of PinchukArtPrize 2015 and Future Generation Art Prize 2017, respectively.