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Karen Cunningham, Deploying Culture, solo exhibition at CAMPLE LINE. Image: Mike Bolam. Courtesy of the artist

CAMPLE LINE is delighted to host Deploying Culture, a solo exhibition by artist Karen Cunningham that brings together three works: two new installations made for our upstairs space and a recent moving image work Movable Type; Under Erasure, 2016, which will be shown in our downstairs screening space.

The two new installations that Cunningham has made at Cample include no less than twenty-six material elements between them. They comprise specific selections and combinations of familiar materials including wire, rope, plastic and glass. A new floor-based work will re-present materials that Cunningham has ‘interrupted’ from various recycling processes: brightly-coloured plastics that have been re-ground for new uses or reprocessed for injection moulding; glass recycled from discarded TVs and monitor screens; and ocean shells and coral. A second new work, entitled Contextural is suspended from a ceiling truss, and incorporates insulated electrical wires, CAT5e cables, jute and rope. The sources of those materials include commercial suppliers, recycling companies, as well as businesses and families local to Cample and surrounding communities.

Beyond their immediate visual and tactile appeal, Cunningham’s choice and uses of materials allude to technological narratives and new critical thinking about how we produce, reproduce and relate to our material environment. Her work prompts us to question: How do we use particular combinations of matter to communicate? How and from where do we source the specific materials to do so? How do we display, handle, deploy and ultimately dispose of the materials that we engage with?

In his novel, The Bostonians, 19th century author Henry James referred to the advent of cable telegraphy, writing of ‘the number of electric feelers that stretched away everywhere.’ In her work, Cunningham reminds us that technologies – their advancements and material indexes – are deeply inscribed in broader cultural and social practices and developments. Her new work at CAMPLE LINE extends a long-standing critical engagement with the field of communications, drawing our attention to the very material components that underpin the often unseen cable and wireless infrastructures forming and informing our own immediate realities.

You can download our exhibition booklet here: KAREN CUNNINGHAM_leaflet

You can also download an essay by Gary Zhexi Zhang, written in response to Cunningham’s moving image work, Movable Type: Under Erasure, 2016, here: Gary Zhexi Zhang essay

Karen Cunningham Short Biography: Karen Cunningham_Bio_2018
Karen Cunningham CV: Karen_Cunningham_CV_2018