1 FEB - 15 MAR
OPENING 31 JAN / 7pm
End Cottage is where Alex Crocker lives. His daily walks, his domestic routines and family life, are recorded in simple drawn images made at the kitchen table. Birds, bricks, worms, cars, bikes, trees, flowers, cats, cups, flies, people, clouds, grass, windows, bees. The stuff of the world Alex transcribes daily and repeatedly on paper. Drawn, recognisable objects transform and sit on the cusp of weird abstraction.
Once an object is fully absorbed it becomes a motif for painting. An essence of the world distilled into a perfume- a note of bird, a whiff of tree, an accord of cat and dog, concentrated cloudy cloudness of cloud! These images reflect less the world as we know it and more a mirror world. It feels self contained - somebody’s personal language we vaguely understand. There’s a conversation with things in the world going on here. A rumination in paint and canvas. Objects figuring themselves out.
Alex understands the stuff that is ‘paint’. It’s a material that has its own agency, that doesn’t behave. The paint does the painting- not Alex! He aims to let it. He helps it along of course, gives it a hand. But to give up control and let the painting ‘become’ he paints wet on wet, places the canvas on the floor, cuts it up, turns it around, paints on odd materials, works quickly , chooses odd dimensions of stretchers, struggles with cumbersome sizes. It’s a battle of sorts. These paintings have a life of their own. They are something untamed and outside of Alex. Automatic wild things!
Alex avoids judgement of them. It’s not his place to judge something else. Sometimes the paintings work, sometimes they don’t. Paintings hang around in the studio like characters in a play. They get reworked, take on new appearances, become quiet and withdrawn, or gain vitality and presence. Perhaps these paintings are never finished changing? Alex selects some for exhibition. Here come the players! He installs them and arranges their composition. In a gallery the paintings might appear complete. But it’s only one brief moment in the process of paint becoming. Of ‘it’ being a painting.
Alex’s paintings, if they could be said to belong to him at all, are ambiguous and full of tension. Sometimes they’re friendly and gentle. Sometimes they’re menacing and uncomfortable. They look familiar yet feel alien. They’re uncanny. They are made ‘by’ Alex, but not controlled by him. Like the world from which they’ve come from, they don’t always make sense though they can speak to us about our place in it.
End Cottage is an exhibition of new work by the British artist Alex Crocker, presenting large scale paintings and works on paper. At the heart of Crocker’s intuitive practice is an exploration of painting as a medium and as a practice that is lived. He lives and works in rural Norfolk.
A small artist publication and a limited edition accompany the exhibition.
DREAMSTIMEFREE - THE END
BOOK LAUNCH APRIL 18 - 19
Join us (online!) for the launch of the inaugural edition of DreamsTimeFree, a new annual publication of experimental artists writing published by TACO!
Responding to the theme of The End, the publication includes texts by Charlie Godet Thomas, The Crazy Creepy Cunts, Dani Smith, Donald Harding, Elizabeth Briggs, George Barber, Jessica Higgins, Joseph Griffiths, Katie Fiore, Liam Sprod, Maria Blom, Sam Keelan, Tom Sewell, and Tom Smith
The launch is accompanied by a weekend long programme of online events, screenings and performances (full details to be announced).
BREAD AND THE CITY
SATurday MARCH 21
Bread and the City is a day long event led by artist Laura Wilson that explores the political, economic and social impact of food industrialisation and cities on our health.
Commencing with a free communal lunch followed by screenings and discussions Bread and the City includes contributions from Laura Wilson, writers Jane Levi and Carolyn Steel, and artist and curator Jo Capper.
Bread and the City has evolved from Laura’s ongoing research project Trained on Veda, a project that connects bakeries and galleries nationally and continues her interest into the historical agency of materials. Trained on Veda was initiated during Wilson’s residency at Delfina Foundation in 2016, and is developed with TACO!, Site Gallery, Grand Union and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. Supported by Arts Council England.
As part of the project Laura has been working with Marc Darvell from Darvells, a family run bakery in Chesham to make a malted loaf inspired by this history. Trained on Veda aims to reintroduce veda bread to mainland UK again collaborating with a network of galleries & bakeries, enabling people to taste this historic bread and to generate discussion.
Veda bread is a dark brown malt loaf which was created in 1900, and became popular across the UK in the early part of the 20th Century and bakeries selling veda bread opened in most cities across the UK. It had a uniquely malted taste, which was easily digestible, full of vitamins and a long shelf-life (five to seven days) and due to its unique properties it was sent out to the soldiers in WW1 as it would reach the trenches fresh, and would keep them healthy. Today it is only made in Northern Ireland.
For further details about the project go to www.trainedonveda.com
Jo Capper is an artist educator and Collaborative Programme Curator, Grand Union . She is interested in the phenomenology of the making process and developing new structures for living. With a special interest in alternative creative educational practices, community building and the cultural specifics of human conviviality. She has initiated “The Growing Project" a city centre community led growing scheme in Birmingham which offers possibilities for new post industrial landscapes. She was a founding member of Bearwood Pantry, a community led food activist group, and currently sits on the board member of the new Bearwood Community Hub. She also co-directs Public Artist Limited a community interest company that is working to facilitate creative developments between community, commerce and culture. www.publicartistlimited.org
Jane Levi is a writer, researcher, and co-founder of Edible Utopia, the artists' and growers’ co-operative urban farming project at Somerset House. Her research speciality is utopianism and food; with a focus on utopian visionaries through history, and space food. Her recent work includes the co-authored Food Politics & Society (University of California Press, 2018), an exhibition for the Foundling Museum ("Feeding the 400"), and chapters for Delfina Foundation’s Politics of Food (2019) and Bloomsbury’s The Cultural History of Plants (2019).
Carolyn Steel is a leading thinker on food and cities. Her 2008 book Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives is an international best-seller and her concept of sitopia (food-place) has gained broad recognition across a broad spectrum of academia, industry and the arts. A director of Kilburn Nightingale Architects in London, Carolyn studied at Cambridge University and has since been a visiting lecturer at Cambridge, London Metropolitan and Wageningen Universities and at the London School of Economics. Carolyn is in international demand as a speaker and her 2009 TED talk has received more than one million views. Her next book, Sitopia: How Food Can
Save the World, is published by Chatto & Windus in March 2020.
Laura Wilson is interested in how history is carried and evolved through everyday materials, trades and craftsmanship. She works with specialists to develop sculptural and performative works that amplify the relationship between materiality, memory and tacit knowledge.
Wilson’s interdisciplinary and research-based works have been exhibited widely including at: Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery as part of New Geographies (2020); V&A, London; Nicoletti Contemporary, London; and Bloomsbury Theatre, London (2019); The British Museum, London, UK with Block Universe; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK; and The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London, UK(2018); SPACE, London; Guest Projects, London; and Invisible Dust (2017); Delfina Foundation (2016 & 17) RIBA, London; and Site Gallery, Sheffield UK (2016); Whitstable Biennial (2014); Camden Arts Centre, London and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2013); W139, Amsterdam and De Warande, Turnhout, Belgium (2012). Wilson has forthcoming projects with Mansions of the Future & The Collection, Lincoln and recently has been awarded the Jerwood New Work Fund and an A-N Bursary 2020 towards new projects in 2021.
SUNDAY 15 MaR- 4pm
For Constructions #4, , Rhodri Davies, Iain Chambers and Yifeat Ziv have been invited to perform within the gallery space of TACO!, set amongst the current exhibition by Alex Crocker.
Yifeat Ziv is a vocalist, composer, free improviser and sound artist. She combines voice, electronics, field recordings and text to create interdisciplinary sound works that derive from her research of the human voice, language, acoustic ecology and listening practices. Her recent works were performed and exhibited in places such as Wellcome Collection , Cafe OTO , South London Gallery, PQ: Prague Quadrennial, Design Museum Holon, Eretz Israel Museum and the Israeli Centre for Digital Art .
Iain Chambers is a composer and producer whose music often deploys field recordings and location sounds as musical material. Iain's work is heard live in concerts, radio, sound installations and multimedia. His feature-length symphonies of industrial sounds have been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, WDR Cologne and ABC Australia. In 2019 Iain launched the independent record label Persistence of Sound, presenting new musique concrète and field recordings.
Iain is a founder member of Langham Research Centre, an electronic music ensemble using obsolete Cold War era technology to create new music. The group also create new realisations of 20th century electronic works by composers John Cage, Alvin Lucier and Christian Wolff using an unusual instrumentarium: analogue tape, sine-wave oscillators, analogue radios and phonograph cartridges. LRC perform internationally, and released Tape Works (Vol. 1) on the Nonclassical label in 2017.
Rhodri Davies is a musican, artist and composer. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and has built installations using natural elements and the Harp. Rhodri has released four solo albums and his regular groups include HEN OGLEDD, Cranc, a duo with John Butcher The Sealed Knot, Common Objects and a trio with John Tilbury and Michael Duch. He has worked with numerous musicans including David Sylvian, Jenny Hval, Derek Bailey, Mark Fell, Kahimi Karie, Laura Cannell, Lina Lapelyte, Sachiko M, Bill Orcutt, Jim O’Rourke, Christian Marclay and David Toop.
In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on ‘Self-cancellation’, a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow. New pieces for solo harp have been composed for him by: Eliane Radigue, Philip Corner, Phill Niblock, Ben Patterson, Christian Wolff, Alison Knowles, Mieko Shiomi and Yasunao Tone.
§Constructions is an ongoing series of experimental music performance events curated by Kate Carr and Mat Jenner. Encompassing a range of musical styles and genres, events are presented at TACO! or offsite in locations around Thamesmead.
Image: Dominka Kieruzel and Matt Berka, Constructions #1
RTM.FM is a radio station developed and managed by TACO! as a platform for community produced culture, debate, art and music. The station provides opportunities for local people to produce and distribute their own content and learn new skills in broadcasting, production, and presenting.
TACO! manages the broadcast studio, coordinates the RTM community, supports the delivery of the station and ensures access for anyone to make and broadcast their own content. In addition to managing the studio set up, also programmes arts content on the station’s broadcast schedule.
The station’s broadcast content and public facing activities are developed in collaboration with the wider community. Decisions on station policy, broadcast scheduling, submitted content, public events, training and budgets are made by a voluntary RTM management committee made up by individuals from the community. This group is supported to undertake this role by TACO! as part of the and through funding from Arts Council England and the Creative People and Places fund.
Membership of the committee is for a set time period with members stepping out of the group to make space for new members after their turn is complete. To represent the interests of the RTM community an RTM committee member attends the decision making meetings of the board of directors of TACO!
The station is currently seeking proposals for shows and regular broadcast content. If you would like to get involved then send us your proposals here.
The station takes its name in homage to the original RTM, which was started in 1978, one of the first community radio stations in the country. The project was initated by TACO! through the commissioing of an artist project by Sam Skinner in 2018.
You can listen to documentry made by the artist about the histroy of radio in Thamesmead here