Charlesworth, Lewandowski & Mann formed in 2005 and have exhibited widely both throughout the UK and internationally.
Charlesworth, Lewandowski & Mann utilise a direct approach to the realisation of their ideas, intentionally making-do with a lexicon of
commonplace materials such as scaffolding and cement, speaker cones and light tubes as the props which speak in an eloquently immediate contemporary voice. The group allow history’s specific bearings to be freely moved and remixed within their multimedia practice, invoking the possibility of a new, properly inaccurate, skewed oral history in the making. In more recent works, Charlesworth, Lewandowski & Mann have continued their investigative distortion of social and political histories through a series of extended collaborations with music producers and short films created from found and stolen footage. The works have eventually taken the form of ramshackle sound systems and bootleg style documentation. These works position themselves between social political commentary and an archival process, through a piratical remixing of cultural sources.
I think of that final moment, when the beam gives way. Prior resistance drops off as the flames lick the surface into brittle blocks of carbon. Blackened flakes of joist carrying on the wind. I see it all from above, cameras buzz aloft. A scene smattered with technical error; broadcast transmissions white out as apertures fail to keep pace with new bursts of flame, sound muted, taking away the danger, the roar, the crack, the experience is neutral, no heat, no adrenaline.
No wonder nobody understands us. They weren’t there. Not really. It was fucking beautiful.
I remember the dome of the cathedral, lit by burning light, shrouded in dense smoke. A crime against architecture. Yet more permissible crimes take place every day as they throw up more of these concrete frames. Concrete don’t burn, it only chars, ages with and without grace. All inside is cinders but the skeleton remains. On these so called new builds, little more than dressed up platenbau, you can burn out every unit and still the bloody thing just stands there. Yet it ain’t built for permanence, I give it bottom edge of forty years. Knocked down and start again.
History is an actor playing out a character of its own devising. It finds an overly simplified view of itself, and lives out that image, stories becoming ticks in personality, intonations of voice. The gait of its walk.
I watch the old images flickering across the screen. With so many shop fronts changing or being replaced in the past 50 years, sometimes it is hard to place where we are. Familiarity creeps back as the camera pans down the street, revealing the peaked frontispieces of buildings, a thing you’ve seen time and again. You’ve filtered it to the back of your mind. It lies there dormant until called for, triggered. It’s almost like the form knows itself and memory is rushing forth from darkness to meet the vision of its faded self in daylight.
Violence is such a memory. It’s inside us all. Dark, deep, innate. We fear because we know it. A face of violence is a face we know. We make it inwardly, more often than we care to admit. The scary truth is, it is closer to the surface than even we know.
Shadowy figures dart around in ever increasing clumps of grey black and sepia grains on film. The viewpoint pans unnaturally fast, the crowds march rapidly, straight-backed. It makes no sense. The words are clipped and short, around the three minute mark I turn off entirely. I listen to the hum of satic on the wires. The dead air from the broadcasting booth. What will it take for us all to snap, to break a part of ourselves away from this purported history. When will our load become too heavy, when can we take no more. Another bit of bad news and hard luck, a state infringement too far. Are we crushed by it or do we react. We want an excuse, the right excuse, we’re waiting for it.
Eric Roelen (1982) is a Dutch, Rotterdam-based artist. His work rises from a crossover between the disciplines of Art and Design.
The work consists out of various objects, graphics and installations.
During the process of creating, both reality and the virtual aspects of an idea play a keyrole. Generally, the virtual idea is taken as a starting point due to the absence of its technical limits, thus giving more freedom in accomplishing the desired result. The subsequent process of realisation of this result towards a concrete or tangible piece is Roelen’s way of testing the influence of ‘reality’ and it’s constraints on the earlier result. This regularly results in works with a surreal character, such as a three meters high Desk Lamp constructed out of scaffolding pipes and an installation which includes flying houseplants.
Besides these autonomous art work, Roelen collaborates with fashion designer Daisy Kroon in the creation of graphic patterns for her collection(s). Two colleagues and himself were also invited by Witte de With (centre for contemporary art, Rotterdam) to develop the installation ‘The Exiting Museum’ for the homonymous art-festival