Cantata Profana by Matt Stokes.
Cantata Profana is a six screen video and sound installation focusing on the physicality of extreme metal vocalists and the ability of their voices to immerse a listener and transcend both the individual performer and group.
Cantata Profana takes the form of an amphitheatre of video screens presenting a new musical composition, created in partnership with British composer Orlando Gough, artist and musician Tim Kerr and six grindcore vocalists. Cantata Profana interweaves extreme metal music culture with classical choral traditions, to create an unexpected union. The intense sounds and body movements of the vocalists, together with the backdrop of the outdated German Democratic Republic radio studio in which the piece was ﬁlmed, all contribute to the atmosphere of this unique and enveloping work.
Stokes’ practice has developed from a long-standing enquiry into events and beliefs that shape people’s lives and identities. Music, its history, subcultures and socio-political eﬀects often provides the catalyst for researching and forming collaborative relationships with musicians, writers, actors, com- posers and communities, bringing together their interests, knowledge and skills in potentially conﬂicting situations. By exploring the resulting ex- changes of ideas, the ﬁnal outcomes challenge our assumptions and under- standing about speciﬁc scenes or chosen ways of living.
Cantata Profana was originally commissioned by Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Germany, produced by Forma Arts with support from De Hallen Haarlem, Netherlands and Arts Council England. It has been exhibited at Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel; De Hallen Haarlem; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; CAAC , Seville; and Dilston Grove, London.
The vocalists featured in Cantata Profana include: Anders Bakke (She Said Destroy, Norway), Chris Butterworth (Kastrated, UK), Dente (Rompeprop, Netherlands), Alex Hughes (Hatred Surge, USA), Alex Jockel (Krupskaya, UK), Der Kurt (Paroxysm, Germany)
Laura Lancaster is a painter who draws inspiration from forgotten and discarded photographs and home movies found in flea markets, charity shops and through ebay. Once precious and significant to someone, they are now detached from their original context and instead they become animated through Lancaster’s luscious, gestural and expressive application of paint. These lost and dislocated souls, caught in the ambiguous space between figuration and abstraction, compel us to reflect on time, memory and loss.
"Laura Lancaster’s paintings are as exuberant as they are melancholic. Working from old family photographs and home movies collected in junk shops and on eBay, she achieves a distinctive expressive resonance. [...] Lancaster is so flamboyant and persuasive a painter that her smears suggest existential shifts and her drips come across as painterly weepings. Nevertheless, she never falls off into sentimentality. Instead, she transforms the typical grins of family snaps into rictus cringes and mask-like grimaces. Just occasionally, there are echoes of James Ensor; you can hardly get a much higher recommendation than that." (Robert Clark, The Guardian, published 23 January 2016)
Matt Stokes (b.1973, Penzance, Cornwall) and has lived, studied and worked in the north east of England since 1993. In 2006, he was the winner of the Beck’s Futures Prize, and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Jarman Award. Recent solo exhibitions include Madman In a Lifeboat, Matt’s Gallery, London 2015; Cantata Profana, Dilston Grove, London 2015; In Absence of the Smoky God, Site Gallery, & Sensoria, Sheﬃeld 2014; Dance Swine Dance, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool 2014; Give to Me the Life I Love, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne & The Whitechapel Gallery, London 2013; Nuestro tiempo/Our Time, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC), Seville, Spain, 2011; Cantata Profana, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2011; The Distant Sound, De Hallen, Haarlem, Netherlands, 2011; No Place Else Better Than Here, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany in 2010; The Gainsborough Packet & co, Zabludowicz Collection, UK
Laura Lancaster was born in Hartlepool, UK in 1979. She lives and works in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
Forthcoming exhibitions include: Musee d'art Moderne St Etienne, France and New Art Gallery Walsall, UK,. Selected exhibitions include: DISMALAND, Weston-super-Mare, UK, A Stranger's Dream, Sargents Daughters, New York, USA, Private Utopia: Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection Tokyo Station Gallery, Itami City Museum of Art, the Museum of Art, Kochi and Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art, Laura Lancaster Wooson Gallery, Deagu, Korea, Painting past PresentLaing Art Gallery, Newcastle, UK, 40 Years of Women Artists from the Private Collection New Art Gallery Walsall, UK, John Moores Painting Prize Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Ego Documents The Autobiographical in Contemporary Art Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, Micro Narratives Musee d'Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne, Incontri, in the Accademia d'Ungheria a Roma, Past as Present York Art Gallery, Giardino Luoghi Della Piccola Realta Palazzo Della Arte Napolii, Local Stories Museum of Modern Art Oxford, Blue Star Red Wedge Glasgow International, When I Lived in Modern TimesNorthern Gallery for Contemporary Art, UK, Laura Lancaster DLI Museum, Durham, UK, New Works on Paper by Laura Lancaster MIMA, UK.
Collections include: British Council, The Government Art Collection UK, UBS Bank, Simmons & Simmons, Ernst & Young, Unilever PLC, The Hort Collection, The Lodeveans Collection, The Cartin Collection USA, Girl's Club Collection, USA, The Zabludowicz Collection, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art USA, Tyne and Wear Museums Collection UK, New Art Gallery Walsall UK, and numerous international Private Collections.