Deploying Culture


Karen Cunningham, Substance of We Feeling (analysand) (2013), exhibited in the solo show ‘Plasma’ at Walden Affairs Gallery, The Hague. Courtesy of Karen Cunningham

Opening Saturday 24 March 2018, 2-4.30pm

Thurs 29 March – Sat 5 May 2018 (open Thurs-Sat, 10am-3pm, or by appointment)

CAMPLE LINE is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Karen Cunningham in spring 2018. Cunningham will install two new works made in-situ specifically for our upstairs space. Both works will comprise specific selections and combinations of familiar materials including wire, rope, plastic and glass.

A 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, suspended from the ceiling trusses, will incorporate insulated electrical wires, CAT5E cables, jute and rope, making subtle references to the region’s history as part of the 19th century efforts to lay submarine telegraphic cable.

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.

Karen Cunningham is based in Glasgow, Scotland. Her practice incorporates moving image, sculpture and photography. She studied photography at Edinburgh College of Art and received her MFA from Glasgow School of Art. She has exhibited her work throughout the UK and Europe, including Tramway, Glasgow; Collective, Edinburgh; Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria; The Showroom, London; and Malmö Konsthall, Sweden.