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David Blandy & Natalia Skobeeva; A---Z at RCA Dyson Gallery, London

RCA Dyson Gallery, London
Private View 11 May - 6.30-8.30pm

Performance by Natalia Skobeeva - 7pm & 7.30pm

Exhibition continues 12 - 23 May

Monday to Friday 9.30am - 5.30pm

At RCA Dyson Gallery | 1 Hester Road | Battersea | London | SW11 4AN

For the last show of the Series Rise Up & Envision at the RCA Dyson Gallery, A- - -Z presents Oracles of Humankind with three videos by Natalia Skobeeva and David Blandy.


- David Blandy, Hercules: Rough Cut, 2015, 11 mins

Hercules: Rough Cut, originally commissioned for Bloomberg SPACE, explores empire, civilisation, London and language. It refers to the Roman version of the Greek Heracles, a series of stories rife with internal contradictions and gathered from multiple sources that has inspired artists and writers through time.  Drawing on Bloomberg’s vast archive of global financial news footage, Blandy layers and amalgamates images of the agricultural, the economic, the cultural, the political and the industrial on four screens that revolve and turn next to a large-scale projection. His pulsing poetic rap narrates an alternative history of the City of London (and the world) informed by mythology, war, disease, injustice, technology and development.  He references the language, style and cadence of Roman declamations, Thomas More, Samuel Johnson, William Blake, 1950s Beat poets and contemporary street talk.

- Natalia Skobeeva, Lewis Carroll meets Godzilla, 2016, 3min44

By looking at the meeting point of Lewis Carroll and Godzilla, Skobeeva ventures into exploration of time and human condition.  While the google translate voice brings in a narrative, carefully constructed from quotes fromSt Augustine, Hussels, Lewis Carroll,  contemporary theatre productions, songs and conversations, the narration constantly reinvents itself and gradually changes the temporal extension of the viewer. Needs to be watched at least 50 times.

- Natalia Skobeeva, The Horrors of Archiving, 2015, 11min33

The Horrors of Archiving engages with the life, works and legacy of one of the most important but nearly forgotten figures of Belgian cultural scene of mid 20th century.

Libera Carlier (1926 - 2007) was a Belgianresistance fighter, sea captain, composer, book and screenplay writer, skier, world traveller and political activist. The twist is that the life story of such a prominent but nearly forgotten figure is brought back to public attention and told by a recent Russian emigrant/family member, from her memories, family stories, multiple encounters and friendship with Libera, and her personal experiences as a new Russian immigrant to Antwerp.

The project explores how political situation and shifting cultural identities alter the linear narrative process of historical events, biographies and autobiographies, not only by the way cultural references and historical occurrences and events are distributed but also how they are interpreted, remembered and further incorporated into one’s autobiographical construction.

The project aims to expose the construction elements in creating narratives, cultural axioms and knowledge systems, and challenge the common liner-perspective narration by introducing landscape of multliple perspectives of posthumanity, combining and confusing facts, stories, references, time frames and points of view.


David Blandy has established his terrain through a series of investigations into the cultural forces that influence him, ranging from his love of hip hop and soul, to computer games and manga. His works slip between performance and video, reality and construct, using references sampled from the disparate sources that provide his sense of self. His film, Child of the Atom, draws on his family history and is perhaps the most intimate and direct piece of self examination, following directly from earlier works which sought to question how much of a Western sense of identity can be constructed from diverse popular sources.

Blandy is represented by Seventeen Gallery.

Natalia Skobeeva is a Russianborn /London-Belgium based artist whose works organically cross the borders of all media carrying the characteristics attributed to transnational art: multiplicity, liminality and hybridity.

Recent and upcoming exhibitions includeBristol Biennale 2016, 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary art, 15th WRO Media Art Biennale, Miden 2013 Festival of Video art, Now&After Video art festival among others. Solo shows include ‘Horrors of Archiving’ in Objectief Exhibitions, ‘Carpets in St Petersburg, former Leningrad, former St Petersburg’ in the State Museum of Political History of Russia in St Petersburg, Camera Club London andViewfinder gallery London, solo projectsin Moscow, Istanbul, Berlin and London.

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During the previous academic year our Visual Cultures Lecture series has addressed the theme of contemporaneity as an ungraspable concept always to be defined. The series started with presentations from artists and expanded to include contributions from historians, theorists and cultural critics.

This year, to understand the context in which art is made and received, we plan to extend the debate from contemporaneity to a cultural and contextual awareness of global transformations.

We aim to create a platform for knowledge exchange through this series of public talks - Each event will host two to three guests in conversation to debate on subjects that we felt need to be addressed not only within education but also within a broaden context. Observing societal changes, with instability and uncertainty of this year ahead, we will ask how we can transform existing practices, disciplines and structures in order to meet these challenges in a sustainable way. Themes to be addressed will include Destructive Heritage, Global Transformation, Transgender Politics, De-colonised Institutions, Sustainable Resources, Activism and the Commons, technology & its use, Post-human…

The big questions for us will be to do with how we continue to operate effectively and sustainably in a context of huge political and economic uncertainty; with diminishing resources, we can’t simply continue to build new structures, so how can we recycle our existing disciplines and institutions without becoming determined by their all too apparent shortcomings?

How can we deconstruct presupposed territories/ideas/models and create other ways of seeing the future?

Anne Duffau
Special Projects Co-ordinator
School of Fine Art
Royal College of Art
20 Howie St, London
SW11 4AY
T: +44 (0)20 7590 4423