Gerry Bibby: Combination Boiler

The Showroom is pleased to present an ambitious new commission by Berlin-based Australian artist Gerry Bibby. After his project at Frieze Art Fair in 2013, this will be the artist’s first solo presentation in a public space in the UK.

The Showroom has opened its doors for Bibby to take up ‘residence’ in the lead up to and during his exhibition. Venturing beyond the scope of a typical artist commission, Bibby will go behind the scenes, interrogating the organisation and commission itself, by assuming a position that shifts the traditional artist/institution dynamic. From here he will explore both the possibilities and limitations of such a dynamic and probe the idiosyncrasies of the organisation’s apparatuses – rendering them as potential creative material.

In particular, his project will focus on The Showroom’s heating system, the ebb and flow of which provides warmth and a generative tissue throughout the building and the community within it. Bleeding and dismantling radiators, draining the system and investigating possible prosthetic measures such as double-glazing, Bibby’s interventions will explore social modes of production, shifts in function, and forms of intimacy, intrusion and estrangement, all of which he will unearth during this process.

Bibby will edit his manuscript during the exhibition, a parallel (if not conflicting) process that will continually inform the development of the show. He will return to launch the final publication produced by If I Can’t Dance at the end of the year.

This new commission forms part of How to work together, a shared programme of commissioning and research organised by Chisenhale Gallery, The Showroom and Studio Voltaire. It draws together long-running textural strands within Bibby’s practice, which will simultaneously feed into a major publishing project he has developed through a series of commissions and residencies over the past year, orchestrated by Amsterdam-based performance platform If I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution, with partner institutions including Kunsthaus Bregenz and CCA Glasgow.

How to work together is supported by a capacity building and match funding grant from Arts Council England through Catalyst Arts, with additional funding in the first year from Bloomberg, Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Outset Contemporary Art Fund. This project has been additionally assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

See more from the project here


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