The New Archive

From: 26th October 2017 6:00 pm

To: 23rd December 2017 5:00 pm

NN Contemporary

9 Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP, United Kingdom






Launch night: 26 October 2017, 6–8pm, followed by Museums at Night until 8am

Artists: Vasco Araújo, Art Laboratory, Darren Banks, Kathrin Böhm, Brud, Martyn Cross, diSTRUKTURA, Freee art collective, Heike Gallmeier, Jessica Harby, Susan MacWilliam, Filip Markiewicz, Kevin McCully, Pip & Pop, Yelena Popova, Vivienne Rattray, Jamie Shovlin, James Smith, John Strutton, Joshua WF Thomson, Emma Wilde


To celebrate its fifth year at Number Nine Guildhall Road, NN is launching The New Archive. Since opening on 13 December 2012, NN has commissioned various artists from its past to contribute artworks to create a new archive. This exhibition is the culmination of the five-year project and features fragments of previous exhibitions, reworked ideas, documents – factual and speculative – by 21 artists working across a wide range of media. The project was inspired by a server crash in 2010 at NN’s previous home at Fishmarket. The loss of the organisation’s digital data in that crash inspired the creation of an archive made entirely by artists in keeping with NN’s artist-centred ethos.

The location of NN as a subject and wider geography of Northampton has been in part the inspiration for a number of the artworks. Emma Wilde undertook a micro residency in NN’s Courtyard in 2013 as she made drawings and paintings of weeds before they were pulled up in the Courtyard’s renovation. Jessica Harby‘s film for The New Archive details a timeline of Northampton, meanwhile John Strutton‘s film is, in part, a John Clare-inspired pub crawl. Kevin McCully and Vivienne Rattray‘s works step back into NN’s more distant past whilst diSTRUKTURA‘s quest to get a visa to attend the opening could be seen as a glimpse into the UK’s future.

 Many of the artists revisited the ideas, characters and themes from the exhibitions in which they featured such as Vasco Araújo who continued the dialogue between his shoemaking characters. Yelena Popova sends us a postcard and Martyn Cross manipulates a hessian-framed portrait. Art Laboratory‘s banner used documentation from their install in the windows at NN. James Smith‘s print inspired an entire exhibition earlier this year and appears here in a different format. Filip Markiewicz‘s vinyl record plays in the show alongside works by Heike Gallmeier and Joshua WF Thomson, whose blog documenting his time as Curator at Fishmarket also accompanies the exhibition. Pip & Pop (Tanya Schultz) is sending a piece of candy wonderland back to NN from the other side of the planet.

Freee art collective and Susan MacWilliam both used the opportunity to create publications that will be launched at the opening and available for sale throughout the exhibition in NN’s shop (or until stocks run out). Brud are reissuing a limited-edition print whilst Jamie Shovlin has recut Hiker Meat on VHS especially for the exhibition and Darren Banks created a bespoke archive called The Fairman Collection, a personal collection of artifacts representing the life and works of radio DJ, sculptor, horror film actor and sheep farmer Churton Fairman aka Mike Raven (1924–1997). Finally, print and tape works on paper by Kathrin Böhm bring together moments spanning the life of NN from its inception and refurbishment to date and this work will go on to form part of a wider personal archive project by the artist currently in development.



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