Tuesday, October 31, 2006


PRIVATE: STAFF ONLY will be evolving throughout the two months of the exhibition. New documentation will be added to the blog regularly as new work is installed or projects evolve.
Click on photos for higher resolution images.

PRIVATE participants: Andrew Bala, Angelo Madonna, Anna Schori, Anjana Janardhan, Astrida Grigulis, Ben Parsons, Ben Woodeson, Bimba Champion, Chris Grounds, Claire Lloyd, Claire Moore, Clare Evans, Danny Birchall, Deva Palmier, Dougie Belford, Duncan Smith, Edvine Larssen, Emma Pettit, Fabio Henrique M. Paiva, Geraldine Walsh, Herbert Wright, Infinite Livez, Iona Scott, Isolda Pujol Piza, Jasleen Anand, Jen Wu, Jennie Sharpe, Jens Hoffmann, Jitan Patel, Joe Schneider, John Dunning, Julia Hamilton, Julio Pereira, Jussi Brightmore, Kate Street, Kate Wallace, Laura Karacic, Lee Curran, Lena Nix, Liana Nobilo, Lucy Brown, Mara Castilho, Marcus McSweeney, Mark Harrison, Mari Reinjders, Martha Pym, Matt Packer, Michael Ajerman, Nathaniel Mann, Nicola Chambers, Oki Uhure, Pamela Jahn, Patrick Waters, Patrick Coyle, Paul Sammut, Paul Shottner, Pearce White Productions, Puneet Sulhan, Richard de Cordova, Roy Brendon, Russell Herron, Sarah Scarsbrook, Sean Garland, Simon Humm, Sipei, Tim Anderson, Toby Messer, Viniita Moran, Yimkin


Make no mistake. A person who has the desire to create a staff show does so out of desperation. Desperate to show and desperate not to remain hidden. This was the first step in the creation of this show. You might ask “But why so desperate?” The answer is not so long in coming. “Desperate because I work in a job that doesn’t pay very much. Desperate because I have worked at it for too long.” You might be put off by this answer. But I would continue: “I love working at the ICA. It has been a real education, I love the people I work with. I have seen and heard a lot of thought-provoking and inspiring things!! However, I still want to escape. I have spent too many long hours sitting in the gallery projecting my own work into the space or watching the same movie three times in a day. Fighting the boredom and telling myself that I do this job because of its flexibility. Because it allows me to still make art work! And so hours are spent making surreptitious notes that describe the trajectory of possible ways out!” Without the initial raw impulse of desperation the show would never have got off the ground. But the project has gone far beyond this starting point and has developed into something more interesting, more various and more rewarding than I could have possibly imagined.

The beautiful and eloquent idea of using the private spaces as a platform for private lives and private work came out of a conversation between Russell and me. I had been talking to lots of people about my idea for a staff show and various models for the show had evolved. Most of them involved proposing the use of the main spaces in the ICA in some way during the interim between exhibitions. However, the conversation with Russell yielded something new and, most importantly, realistic. Inspired by Jens Hoffmann’s curatorial practice he suggested the use of the private spaces in some way. I was immediately persuaded. It was clear that here was a concept that would dramatize and contextualise the work in a way that would not have occurred had it been shown in the main spaces or a space outside the ICA and that would even create new freedoms through its restrictions.

Both Russell and I felt that it was important to make the exhibition open to all staff regardless of whether they were an artist or not. This social aspect has brought creativity and invention into the everyday relations of the building. It has created a context for all staff to participate and relate to the spaces and people that are the ICA. But more than this it makes a persuasive argument for blurring the line between artwork and life. It allows us to say, perhaps it is enough to have a project, to fight against the gravity and meaninglessness of life and the heaviness of yourself. The show brings a context that highlights the value and beauty of this “having a project” and makes an argument for its inclusion within the boundaries of what constitutes art.

Throughout the process of developing the show every so often desperation would again rear its head. I would suddenly think “a show that is not seen, why? We want to be seen! That’s the whole point of showing, isn’t it?” And so developed an internal dialogue about the value of privacy in general and its particular value in the creative process. Many artists have a deep-rooted instinct to keep their work private. Myself included. An impulse that sometimes verges on the self-destructive. There seem to be many reasons not least an insecurity about the work and a sense of its lack of value and the futility of art in general. However, perhaps the strongest reasons are to do with the doubt, resistance and randomness that comes from a relation to the art world. But it is a strange truth that many artists have the compulsion to make work regardless of if it is seen by that many people. And it is the value of this compulsion and its strength to persevere and adapt itself for survival and growth that this show celebrates. The work in this show displays the evidence of the private struggle for survival in difficult circumstances. But more than this it also displays the embracing of those circumstances through which you can transform and transcend them.

Joe Schneider

Monday, October 30, 2006


Exhibitions curated and organized by artists are no new invention. There are a number of astonishing examples throughout the history of art in which artists took on the task and the responsibility of putting together an exhibition of art works without having a curator involved. The reasons and motivations behind the aim of self-organizing an exhibition are however often quite varied. On the one hand we have artists who clearly see exhibition making as an extension of their practice as artists, historically that would include artists that we today associate with the term Institutional Critique that emerged in the 1960s and 70s: Hans Haake, Marcel Broodthears, Martha Rosler, Group Material but of course also Fred Wilson or Andrea Fraser all of whom have curated some of the most interesting artist-organized projects and exhibitions of the last 25 years. On the other hand we have shows organized by artists that clearly state an opposition to the curator and institution-lead exhibition system. These are shows in which artists take matters into their own hands without waiting for a curator to come along. Shows which are simply about showing art works by a group of, most often, artist friends. The most prominent one in this category from the recent past is without a doubt Freeze organized by the artist Damien Hirst in 1989 that (without the help of an institution or professional exhibition organizer) catapulted a whole generation of UK artists to the forefront of the public's attention and radically changed the way we think about art in this country till this day. Private: Staff Only is an exhibition that clearly falls into the second category.

I have often wondered how it must be to work in an art institution may it be as a waiter in the café, at the front desk, as a gallery assistant, as an employee at the book shop or, as very often is the case, as a gallery technician but never or hardly ever be involved in what one is actually passionate about in the first place: to show and present one's own work to the public. I have forgotten how many times artists who work at the Institute of Contemporary Arts have asked me to look at their work, have asked me to come to openings of their shows, have told me that what we show in the galleries is in fact 'shit' and we should rather show their work. As annoying as that can be at times it is the only way forward for artists to articulate their position and their role in the hierarchal and often sadly insensitive fabric of contemporary institution. The ideas behind Private: Staff Only are located exactly here: the ICA has plenty of talented artists working under it's roof who in some way live a slightly schizophrenic existence. Private: Staff Only objective is to put an end to this situation, at least temporarily, and get a show off the ground involving everyone who has ever worked at the ICA and would like to contribute a work of art. Yet, in contrast to a proper gallery show the organizers have decided upon a more guerrilla approach, presenting the works of art throughout the offices and in the non-public areas of the institution and with that also resisting the possibility of being in fact publicly co-opted by the institution that could use the show and its idealistic spirit for polishing its own image. What is moreover interesting in regard to the idea of presenting the work in the offices is the fact that we all will be confronted with them on a daily basis, that we will not be able to escape them as they are planted right in those areas in which till this point the boredom of bureaucracy had it's home.

It might be interesting to consider that of all art institutions in London the ICA has always been the institution that has been the most artist-driven. It comes as no surprise that the ranks of former Directors of Exhibitions include for example a titan of post-war British art, Richard Hamilton. I personally took much pride in the fact that to come to the ICA in the role and function of Director of Exhibitions was to follow in the steps of Hamilton, yet of course with the limitations of being 'only' a curator. The merry years of the Independent Group in the 1950s was a time in which the artists were in charge of what was taking place in the ICA. It was a time during which this institution was clearly the place for artists and their ideas unlike today when art institutions, particularly those in the UK, have mostly become part of a corporate machine in which one either complies to what the market and the tranquilized masses are longing for or, should one dare to resist, has to make space for people who will blindly follow what marketing and audience numbers driven institutional polices ask them to do. But there is no need to worry just yet, it is initiatives like this that prove that there are other voices out there that offer an alternative understanding in regard to the relationship between institutions and artists and continue to challenge the hierarchies that try to suppress true creativity and critical reflection.

Jens Hoffmann

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Working Space: Latest Additions

Artist: Joe Schneider
Location: The Back Stairs.
Medium: Graphite on Paper
Comment: Playing on the opportunities offered by Private: Staff Only I will assume the position of an "unofficial" artist-in-residence. This residency brings into question the notion of a "resident" artist and ideas of belonging, status and legitimacy within an institution. I will produce a series of drawings portraying the staff as they work and some of the working and private spaces. I will draw all staff from the invigilator in the gallery to the director in his office transforming the normal conditions of the working space into a different kind of working space. I will be working up through the floors of the ICA, spending about 2 weeks on each level, moving from front of house, through management, administration and finance towards the directors. The drawings made front of house will be displayed at the top of the back stairs and as I work my way up the building the drawings will spiral their way towards the bottom. The divisions between departments and areas will be turned upside down through the placing of the drawings.
More information about this artist: www.joeschneider.co.uk
Contact: schneiderinlondon@yahoo.co.uk

The ICA Story

Artist: Jennifer Thatcher
Location: Lift
Hakon Swenson founds Hakonbolaget, the origin of today’s ICA, in Västerås. At the core of the ICA concept lies the idea of getting individual retailers to join forces and form purchasing centers, allowing them to achieve the same economies of scale as the chains by making joint purchases, establishing stores and sharing their marketing costs.

ICA AB is formed from the purchasing centers founded in the ’20s and ’30s as a result of Hakon Swenson’s idea. These purchasing centers were known as Hakonbolaget, Svenska Varor el. Speceristernas Varuinköp (1922), Eolbolaget (1938) and Nordsvenska Köpmannaaktiebolaget (1938).

ICA Förbundet, the membership organization for ICA retailers, is formed. Originally, this organization had no ownership stake in ICA, but between 1972 and 2000, ICA Förbundet became the largest owner of ICA. The organization is still one of the Group’s principal owners.

ICA Förlaget is founded. The original idea for ICA Förlaget was ICA-tidningen (ICA News), nowadays known as Praktiskt Butiksarbete (Practical Store Work), which was soon followed by a free 4-page paper known as ICA Kuriren. ICA Kuriren is now Sweden’s biggest weekly with 400,000 subscribers.

The four purchasing centers within ICA AB agree on a joint ICA symbol – today’s ICA label. The ICA label is now one of Sweden’s best known and most popular brands.

ICA’s sales figures overtake those of Konsum and the company becomes a market leader. The successes of the ICA retailers in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s were due, among other things, to the fact that many new residential areas were built in which ICA was able to establish stores. At the same time, ICA also started distributing joint advertising fliers offering major discounts, and this helped attract more shoppers to ICA.

ICA is organized into three regional companies known as ICA Hakon, ICA Eol and ICA Essve, whose origins lie in the companies that made up ICA from 1917 onwards.

ICA buys the mail order company Ellos in order to expand the operations conducted alongside its principal activities, i.e. selling food. ICA had previously acquired Hjalmar Blomquist AB (which later became the DUKA stores), BOB-industrier in Kumla (fruit drinks and jam), Svea Choklad (Polly candy, among others) and the Lindex clothing chain, which later, in its turn, bought up Gulins. All these companies were sold during the ’90s when the operations decided once again to focus entirely on selling food.


ICA restructures its corporate group, forming four principal companies and one joint parent company, ICA Handlarnas AB. ICA Kundkort (customer card) is also launched nationwide and is immediately a hugh success. Since 1995, all ICA card holders receive Buffé, Sweden’s largest monthly magazine, every month.


ICA is reorganized into a single parent company with two main companies: ICA Partihandel (wholesale) and ICA Detaljhandel (retail), with a clear division of responsibilities for each function throughout Sweden.


The two main companies, ICA Partihandel and ICA Detaljhandel, are incorporated into the parent company – ICA Handlarnas AB.


ICA Handlarnas AB and Norway’s Hakon Gruppen AS merge into a single parent company – ICA AB. ICA Förbundet, which owns ICA Handlarnas AB, becomes the largest owner of the parent company alongside another important owner, Canica AS.

Together with Hakon Gruppen in Norway, ICA Handlarnas AB signs a frame agreement with Statoil concerning a joint company to own and manage 1,500 gas stations in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. At the end of the year, the business model for a partnership with the Netherlands-based food retail group Royal Ahold is presented.


The ICA Group undergoes the most extensive change yet to its ownership structure when the agreement with Royal Ahold comes into force. At the end of 2000, 30 percent of the parent company, ICA Ahold AB, is owned by ICA Förbundet Invest, 20 percent by Norway’s Canica AS, and 50 percent by Royal Ahold.

The ICA Bank is registered in July.

The first Etos-stores open in Stockholm. Netto-stores are established in the south of Sweden in cooperation with Dansk Supermarked.

Canica decides to sell its 20% share of ICA AB. Royal Ahold and ICA Förbundet Invest take over and hereafter own 60 and 40% respectively of ICA AB.
ICA Baltic agrees with Finnish Kesko on a joint venture in the Baltics - RIMI Baltic AB.

Contact: jennifert@ica.org.uk

Saturday, October 28, 2006

After Hours

Artist: Marcus McSweeney
Location: On the desk of Martha Pym, PA
to Guy Perricone.
Contact: marcusmcsweeney@yahoo.co.uk

David Ellis Crash Report

Artist: Julio Pereira
Location: Front of House Staff Room
: Film
Comment: A film documentary about David Ellis - life, Experiences and Ideas, as well as a form of observing and analysing life, age and memory. David Ellis Crash Report is a mind journey with words where we are all part of it.
Contact: jalpereira@hotmail.com

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I Can't Think of Anything But My Eyebrow

Artist: Fabio Henrique M. Paiva
Location: Fire escape under bar
Medium: Pencil on paper
Contact: fabioyxa@yahoo.com

Monday, October 16, 2006

Private Works

Artist: Nathaniel Mann
Location: Outside the lift on the 2nd floor
Medium: MP3
Presented within the ‘Private:Staff Only’ exhibition at the ICA, ‘Private Works’ offers an entire exhibition of works within it’s own gallery space.

One month in, a work finally breaks it way out of the ‘staff only’ areas, or perhaps it just burrows deeper?

Pop the headphones on and roam.

Camaraderie / Naturaves / Private Space / Patio Interior

“who could resist the invitation of those dainty headphones they gleam in living rooms and entwine themselves around heads all by themselves and instead of fostering cultivated conversation one becomes a playground for noises”
(Kraucher, S. 1995, p.333)

Camaraderie. A continuation (whispering directly into ears), a mantra.

Naturaves. (Madrid’s largest dealer of song-birds is open Saturdays, Sundays & Festivals).

Private Space. Defines the space the viewer inhabits.

Patio Interior. (version 1: homage a presque rien). Scrolling Text accompanies sound recordings.

On sweaty restless nights I lean against this window and listen.

One of three flats on the 2nd floor, with three floors more above; our view is of neighbouring walls. All of the windows of these two adjoining buildings peer down into the same enclosed quad, little more than 4m x 6m and scattered with fallen clothes pegs from the lines that stretch between the window ledges. Below there is just one access point, a dirty doorway that leads to the storeroom of a neighbouring shop.

Summer in Madrid, these windows are permanently flung and will stay that way until the heat recedes in autumn.

Each day I am awoken by the alarms of others, by telephone calls and the clattering of pans, television murmurs, salutations and arguments mingle; concrete walls blend all within soft echoes.

Comes the evening; music from the bar below bleeds upwards, it’s toilet windows back onto the patio releasing all secrets into the space, the same TVs blare against mealtime conversation.

Comes the night, a simple hush, the neighbours below review the day from their bed, descending into regular snores from some room above.

The interior patio is a cavity that exists between our private spaces; it touches on the edges of our private moments; our bedroom conversations, intimacies, fragments of our lives drift into this aperture and intermingle with fragments emerging from the other windows.

Contact: animateddog@yahoo.co.uk

The Diaries of John Dunning

Artist: John Dunning
Location: Communications office on 3rd floor
Medium: Laminated facsimiles
Contact: jdunning@tartanfilms.com

woman in cement bath blocks the elevator

Artist: Janina Buecking and Pamela Jahn
Location: Lift
Medium: Photograph

Obsessive Compulsive

Artist: Claire Lloyd
Location: Mezzanine kitchen
Medium: Video
Contact: clairel@ica.org.uk

We Hate Beds and Untitled

Artist: Paul Sammut
Location: Corridor between the kitchen and the walk-in freezer
Medium: Graphite on Paper

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

more LOVE poems

Artist: Patrick D Waters


My instinct tells me
to avoid your eyes
Though shared love unison
the son of guise
No calculation, revenge swept "buyer"
Alone, I found you
alone I cried

Oncemore, alone
this time, my choice
To face my future, at last a voice
Boy to Man, self conquere course
Freedoms onslaught, created, taught
So high to fly, this spirited quest
Though this life without you
a physical test
So now we pass, I bow to you
Your shadowed silhoutte...
Out of view



Cherished, adored
we feed this flame
Unison, breathless
seeds arcane

Wispful laughter
realms of light
Headed glory
Hands held tight

Run, run, RUN
away with me
Never to let
their sadness be

Arrowed hearts
the stars our guide
With you beside me
in your arms

Cascading thoughts
our joy elopes
Near you forever
sealed to dote

Please once again
just heal this palm
So once together
Love warms, souls calm


Contact: patrickdeanwaters@yahoo.co.uk

Friday, September 29, 2006


Artist: Bimba Champion
Location: Crypt-like half covered outside space on a fire escape route up to Carlton House Terrace leading out from the back of the cinema
Medium: Metal, Plaster, Mixed Media
Contact: bimbachampion@yahoo.co.uk

Pollen Screen

Artist: Geraldine Walsh
Location: Desktops on ICA computers
Medium: Digital Image
Comment: A reaction to Pollen creates a no entry point to my garden in early summer - despite this the area becomes so much more desirable - during this time it would turn into a wilderness and of course result in an ever increasing amount of pollen. Hungry for its beauty I would periodically catch brief moments to take pictures to then put onto my desktop - it created a partial engagement with the space & an imaginary entry point.
For more information about this artist: http://geraldinewalsh.blogspot.com/
Contact: theartsroom@hotmail.co.uk

Working Space: Latest Additions

Artist: Joe Schneider
Location: The Back Stairs.
Medium: Graphite on Paper
Comment: Playing on the opportunities offered by Private: Staff Only I will assume the position of an "unofficial" artist-in-residence. This residency brings into question the notion of a "resident" artist and ideas of belonging, status and legitimacy within an institution. I will produce a series of drawings portraying the staff as they work and some of the working and private spaces. I will draw all staff from the invigilator in the gallery to the director in his office transforming the normal conditions of the working space into a different kind of working space. I will be working up through the floors of the ICA, spending about 2 weeks on each level, moving from front of house, through management, administration and finance towards the directors. The drawings made front of house will be displayed at the top of the back stairs and as I work my way up the building the drawings will spiral their way towards the bottom. The divisions between departments and areas will be turned upside down through the placing of the drawings.
More information about this artist: www.joeschneider.co.uk
Contact: schneiderinlondon@yahoo.co.uk


Artist: Chris Grounds
Location: 3rd floor corridor, 2nd floor office, Mezzanine office, Caper Green office
Medium: Pen on Paper


Artist: Lucy Brown
Location: Back stairs
Medium: Ink-jet print
Comment: Contrary to common belief, design students don't have it easy. Not at LCC anyway. The piece is the result of 10 weeks work and approximately 80 drafts in my 3rd term of my 1st year on the BA Typography course. Under the careful watch of designers Zak Kyes and Sheena Calvert, each draft was ripped apart on a weekly basis. This encouraged an attention to detail that i had not previously believed was possible. Having design skills high enough to come to the ICA in the summer of my 1st year is thanks to this poster, hence why it's quite appropriate for this exhibition. The brief was to communicate the science of light in a purely typographic way. Light has so many characteristics, it is everthing to us. Space, time, shape, understanding. To even attempt to represent it through written word alone didn't seem to do it justice. It shapes who we are, what we see, how we percieve. It is our coming and our going, our waking and our sleeping. Without light, we are nothing. The following is from the Jeff Wall exhibiton at the Tate Modern earlier in the year.

"Perhaps you'll think it strange - that an invisible man should need light - desire light - love light. But maybe it's exactly because I am invisible. Light confirms my reality - gives birth to my form. Without light I am not only invisible but formless as well and to be unaware of one's form is to live a death. I myself after existing some 20 years did not become alive until I discovered invisibility"

For more information on this artist: www.brownstudy06.blogspot.com
Contact: lucy.brown@hotmail.com

Book Group

Artist: Viniita Moran
Location: Mezzanine kitchen
Chrochet and thumbtack / Online Book Group
As part of the show I have also set up an online book group, please explore and participate at http://www.myspace.com/109409350

If you would like to participate without joining myspace then please send all comments / contributions / texts to me and I will post them for you.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Artist: Clare Evans
Location: Her house

Contact: nevermadeit@gmail.com

Friday, September 22, 2006

David Ellis's 'Left-handed swordsmanship aka View-finder'

Artist: David Ellis
Location: Porthole on the back stairs.
Medium: Photography, Text, Performance
Comment: The architectural feature of the round window or porthole located on a narrow staircase between the ground floor and the Nash and Brandon rooms has become the unexpected prompt to many memories, false memories and also an aid to a kind of ' backward thinking '. On a previous occasion I had delivered a 5min' to camera' spoken digression on the staircase on the subject of left-handed swordmanship and a specifically disputed historical assault on a 15th Century medieval castle in Rodez. The basis of this account being that left-handed swordmanship had been introduced as an early defence against fierce assaults from those ascending the spiral staircase that lead to the symbolic seat of power. Weilding their swords in their left hands and striking at the wrists of the right-handed swordsman with the clear advantage and dexterity that this defensive strategem permited. Being myself left-handed I had become interested in recent neurological studies etc that suggested that an inclination towards non-linearity in both thinking and in memory was more pronounced in ' South-Paws ' (left-handers). I liked this conceit as it permitted me to believe that to 'digress' had a physiological origin. That my frequent exercises/ performances in the act of semi-improvised spoken memory etc were a trait developed in the convoluted brain folds of Munros canal. Perhaps.

The porthole became the point of association for a series of 7- 5minute ' digressions ' planned as my part in the ICA exhibition ' Private: Staff Only '. As the second part of the title suggests , the window for me is a kind of viewfinder that examines a re-constructed past. My past.

1. A very rank organization - The death of the bloke who struck the gong for Rank Films. 2006

2. LSD - 1973

3.The practice of air-guitar. 1969

4.Living on Clare Island , Ireland in a Lighthouse 1979.

5.Faking furniture in Dublin. 1979

6.Watching ' Zulu '. 1964

7.Cat-scans at the Royal Free Hospital. 1980

8.Waiting in Lithuanian military air-space. 2003
9. Death of an auto-didact 1981

10. The historical significance of 5.10pm - October 17th

Contact: address_puzzle@hotmail.com

Russell Herron

Artist: Russell Herron
Location: Artistic Director of the ICA, Ekow Eshun's office wall
Medium: Vinyl lettering on wall
Comment: One of a series of name pieces.

More information on this artist:
Russell Herron Website
Russell Herron Blog
Contact: russell@russellherron.com

Airing My Dirty Laundry

Artist: Emma Pettit
Location: 2nd Floor kitchen
Medium: Polaroid photographs,ribbon, wooden pegs

Contact: emmap@ica.org.uk

Thursday, September 21, 2006

X. Points of Transit

Artist: Danny Birchall
Location: Emma Quinn's desk on the second floor
Medium: Jessops 6x8 'Lustre' print, 80gsm paper, laser toner.
Comment: The photo is of a lonely traveller at Narita airport.

The text reads:

Crossing the Bulgarian border in the middle of the night; waiting for the ferry to arrive at Lerwick; the international transit terminal at Detroit with its spinal elevated transit. These are the locations in between, places where a weightless joy comes from being both somewhere and nowhere. To pass the time you drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, browse every bookshop and newsstand. This isn't travelling, but it isn't standing still. If for some reason the boat or plane never comes, the train never leaves, you could remain here and never grow old, because if nothing ever happens, then time does not pass. You will remain this weightless for ever.

More information on this artist:
Danny Birchall blog
Contact: dannyb@ica.org.uk

XVIII. The Man Without Qualities

Artist: Danny Birchall
Location: Deirdre Kelly's desk in exhibitions office
Medium: Jessops 6x8 'Lustre' print, 80gsm paper, laser toner.
Comment: The photo is of a kea.
The text reads:
His facial expressions and gestures, even his speech, are too slow and exaggerated to be realistic when you meet him. He has spent too long on television, carefully explaining difficult matters to the camera and its audience, smoothing out the intricacies of the complex. Consequently, he himself has become devoid of all intricacy, and as smooth and depthless as the screen. If you look at him closely, you even begin to see the pixels and dots he is composed of, the three basic colours, the particles of light. You are seeing him and there is nothing to look at, listening to him but there is nothing to hear.

More information on this artist:
Danny Birchall blog
Contact: dannyb@ica.org.uk

IV. The New Republic

Artist: Danny Birchall
Location: Windowsill in finance office
Medium: Jessops 6x8 'Lustre' print, 80gsm paper, laser toner.
Comment:The photo is of a part of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, outside the old parliament building in Canberra.

The text reads:

After the last tube train ran, the ancient tunnels were derelict for decades, home only to rats and pigeons, fearful and mythic caves to Londoners; the stations' mouths became oracular chasms, and few dared to venture in, let alone below. When the New Republic was established, it was not thought possible, or desirable, to reconnect the flow of electricity to the twisted, rusting rails. Instead, the tracks were sealed and flooded, and large gondolas assembled to connect station with station. It was once again possible to travel below ground from Archway to Tooting, not rattle-fast as the trains once did, but languorously, listening to the echoes of the driver-gondoliers whistling and calling along the dark canals ahead.

More information on this artist:
Danny Birchall blog
Contact: dannyb@ica.org.uk

XXIX. What People Argue About in Heaven

Artist: Danny Birchall
Location: Russell Herron's desk in the mezzanine
Medium: Jessops 6x8 'Lustre' print, 80gsm paper, laser toner
Comment:The photo is of two tiny snowmen near the top of Mt Misen.

The text reads:

At the entrance to heaven, your life is analysed in a very singular manner. All that you were to other people is checked and summed, and all that other people were to you is likewise calculated and determined. One is subtracted from the other, and a score is given. It is positive if you meant more to others than they to you, and negative when vice versa. Your number is objective, immutable and eternal. The political discourse of the citizens of heaven consists entirely of an incessant debate about whether it is better to have a negative or a positive score. Those very few souls whose balance sheets achieve a pure score of zero are sent straight to hell.

More information on this artist:
Danny Birchall blog
Contact: dannyb@ica.org.uk


Artist: Lena Nix
Location: Front of House Staff Room
Medium: Video installation
“Without them you were powerless. You couldn’t open anything, close anything or set the alarms. I felt naked without them. I often lost them in the building, during hectic periods where you’d be running around everywhere and would just put them down….in a toilet or on the stairs or once I locked them in a room ( the cage ) and had to break in to get them. I still dream about them from time to time. I once gave them a very good soapy cleaning. They looked a little like a threatening weapon, which on some heavy club nights and parties could look useful”

“2nd floor doors all locked with the same key except Ekow Eshun’s office key lock was attached upside down for some reason so it turned the wrong way (or am I imagining this).”

“The key hole was too near the frame although part of it had been cut away. The temptation was to give up here, but somehow that seemed like bad luck. You know, it was such a mundane job, locking up, that if you started to ‘cheat’ as it were, you were lost. It would all seem pointless and you’d be reminded of the monotony at every point as you would be deciding whether to get away with it or not. I remember discussing this and deciding that it was best to actually really lock everything as then there was no choice no options, no considering, no good nights and no bad nights, just getting on with it, which in turn had it’s own freedom in an existential sort of way”.
More information on this artist:
Contact: lenanix@hotmail.com


Artist: Mari Reijnders
Medium: Paint on Canvas
Location: Mezzanine Office


Please ignore this page and Fortune’s frame

Artist: Angelo Madonna
Text on Paper and Mixed Media
6 positions around the building and on the back stairs
Comment: If there was a light bulb breathing in a frame, now, through the free association of the amused mind there are dice. The dice are, like the light bulb: the hope of destiny. When the light bulb switches on, it is the moment of understanding, the so called EUREKA, the solution of a problem or the ever ending miracle of each breath we under take.
It is the unpredictability of breathing that like the dice’s game alternates victory and failure. …and there are the numbers, the devil’s of destiny…

How many possibilities are there to get the 6 6 in the dice’s game?
Games are fascinating, amusing, they allow the changes. Through playing, the profound emerges and becames visible.
It is during the game that the paradox of the work “ Ignore this page “ shows me its psychological plot.

I watched, but it asks to ignore it, then I smile to watch it even more.


Thursday, September 14, 2006


Artist: Julia Hamilton
Location: Exhibitions Office
Medium: Film
With Thanks to Jennie Sharpe and the ICA

Outside the gallery, a warm sunny afternoon. Inside, and the trees can be seen through the window of the darkened room. The sound of TV monitors fills the air, the usherette sits in her chair. Ignored by the visitors who move around her with the slow-motion reverence adopted by all gallery goers, she is the still focus of the room.

In this film I wanted to turn the viewers gaze onto the one person we have not come to see in a gallery. While she greets us on entering, we carefully try to bypass her as she does her job of watching us. She is alone, literally marooned. In every gallery we attend there is always the solitary figure of the usher. This film makes her the centre of our attention for a change.
For more information about this artist: www.terracestudios.co.uk
Contact: julia.hamilton3@btinternet.com


Artist: Anon.
3rd Floor corridor

Medium: Collage

Inside Me Like A Warmth

Artist: Sean Garland
Location: 2nd Floor Kitchen
Medium: Film
Comment: It comes as no surprise to anyone that Venice, most especially in the off-season, bereft of tourists and wreathed in fog, is one of the most bewitching, transportive cities imaginable. There’s drama and character in her crumbling backstreets, shrouded alleyways and melancholia-riven waterways, chosing, as she does, to unveil herself only in increments, one hallucinogenic step at a time. From the outset Inside Me Like A Warmth; A Venetian Diary had always been a somewhat experimental departure for me in terms of filmmaking. For once I wasn’t working with actors or fictional storylines or melodrama…just a city, a sense of place, perhaps even a state of mind and so, in the freezing cold on the tail-end of January I set out to somehow frame and capture what made the city so timelessly seductive for so many people. Electronica wunderkid Metamatics came on board after seeing the footage and the film went on to win Best Music & Visuals at London’s first Salvador Dali Film Festival in conjunction with the exhibition of his work at County Hall on the South Bank.
For more information about this artist: www.seangarland.com
Contact: longislandbridie@ireland.com

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bang, Bang...

Artist: Ben Woodeson
Installed on the ICA Computer Network
New Media

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_surveillance http://www.woodeson.co.uk/private.html

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Artist: Kate Wallace
Location: The Back Stairs
Medium: Photographic Print and Knitting
Contact: katerebekahwallace@yahoo.co.uk