Temple Bar Gallery and Studios’ first exhibition of the New Year is a solo show by British artist Matt Stokes, recipient of Beck’s Futures 2006. Lost in the Rhythm, Stoke’s first exhibition in Ireland, opens at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios on January 17th and continues until February 24th 2007.
Matt Stokes’ practice is marked by anthropological enquiry and his abiding interest in how social events and informal movements bind people together. Music subcultures have been central to the development of his recent projects, which focus on music’s propensity to influence and affect the way people live. Research plays an essential role in Stokes’ work, as he actively engages with his immediate surroundings and explores participatory elements.
This distinct approach has partly evolved from Real Arcadia, an ongoing project begun in 2003 during a residency in the Lake District, documenting a series of illegal “cave raves” held in the area in the early 1990’s. Stokes has archived and interpreted the clandestine experience of those who attended these parties, amassing paraphernalia associated with the now defunct acid house organisation “Out House Promotions”, some of which will be re-contextualised for the gallery exhibition. With assistance from an eclectic network of participants, Stokes’ project aims to push the perception of rave culture beyond the prevailing media hype to probe the real impact of its lost ideals on the survivors.
In addition to Real Arcadia, Stokes presents Long After Tonight (2005); this outstanding film contributed significantly to Stokes being awarded Beck’s Futures 2006. Stokes recreates the magic of the Northern Soul scene on Super 16mm film by uniting original “soulies” inside a Scottish Episcopalian church in Dundee, parts of which were used during the 1970’s for some of the city’s first “Northern” nights. The camera work is carefully choreographed to match the pounding beats, flitting from the sweat drenched bodies and trances of the dancers to the surrounding religious imagery. By staging the event in the unique gilded interior of the church nave, Stokes creates a connection between the location and activity, as expressions of faith, commitment and shared purpose.
In connection with Lost in the Rhythm, a newly commissioned performance of Matt Stokes’ Sacred Selections will happen in Christ Church Cathedral on St. Valentine’s evening, 8pm Wednesday 14th February 2007. Sacred Selections (2005–ongoing) brings together contrasting communities for live pipe organ recitals of experimental transcriptions of underground music. Paul Ayres, organist of St. George’s Hanover Square, translates Happy Hardcore music into something recognisable and playable on an organ in a unique ‘Dublin performance. The project considers historical aspects of the organ, its influence, music and position within both ecclesiastical and secular settings. Additionally, each recital is preceded by a brief history or comments by fans about the original track.
Matt Stokes has exhibited widely in the UK and beyond, most recently with a solo show at Collective Gallery (Edinburgh), group shows at Witte de With (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Eastinternational 06 (Norwich) and was the winner of Beck’s Futures 2006. He lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Exhibition Launch: Tuesday January 16th 2007, 6-8pm With Old Skool DJ Colm Connolly on decks 7pm until late
Panel Discussion “Is pop music bad for adolescents?” Dr. Adrian North
1pm, Wednesday 24th January 2007
In connection with Lost in the Rhythm, a newly commissioned performance of Matt Stokes’ Sacred Selections will happen in Christ Church Cathedral on St. Valentine’s evening, 8pm Wednesday 14th February 2007.