PUBLIC ART PROGRAMME
Exploring themes of language and social belonging, the artist Hester Reeve created a site-specific installation featuring a large-scale tea-set, devised especially for Art Social ’15. The main installation was situated in Soho Square – festival-goers were invited to move from here into the House, where teacups were displayed throughout, emblazoned with words gathered by the artist during her exploration of Maslow’s pyramid. Issues of belonging exemplified by the British ritual of tea drinking interacted with a more eccentric and quirky examination of the opportunities and limitations of language. Through this commission Reeve took a playful look at this most homely of symbols, the teapot, and how we all take refuge in rituals, words and language.
Keef Winter‘s piece was a large geometric sculpture housed on the roof within the beautiful courtyard garden of The House of St Barnabas. Winter attached LED strip lighting to the structure to radiate in the colours of Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs, from the yellow lower tier at the bottom representing physiological needs, through the red, green and purple of safety, intimacy and esteem needs to the highest blue tier of self-actualisation. As the sun began to go down the structure glowed with the colours of Maslow’s Pyramid.
“What one can be, one must be” is a quote from Maslow, where he states that every person is capable and has the desire to move forward. This was a programme of video and performances by contemporary artists, curated by Paula Lopez Zambrano, which featured in the chapel and other areas of the House throughout the festival. This programme reflected upon different hierarchies emanating from socio-political structures or from our daily lives and the films, performances and workshops all explored the fragility of the human condition. Video artists included Jeremy Deller, Hito Steyerl amongst others, with workshops and performances from Merike Estna; ‘Eat My Painting Please’ and ‘JacketsPaintings / PaintingsJackets’, Marlene Haring; ‘Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine’, Jennifer Reid; ‘Broadside Ballads’ and Rafal Zajko; ‘Wandering Monuments’.
‘Moving Images, Shifting Needs’ was a video programme in three parts that explored the intersection of aesthetics, art and video, exposing fluctuation in the order of hierarchies in human needs and in art.
Margaret Salmon’s 2014 film ‘Pyramid’, a work on Abraham Maslow’s theory on the pyramid of needs, formed the basis of this programme of artists’ film and video, curated by Matt Carter in association with LUX. Filmed through the rhythms and choreography of middle class South England the stages of Maslow’s pyramid provide an organisational framework for Salmon’s abstract documentary. These stages also act as springboards for considering the other works in the programme and how they relate to the different stages of need, or the growth towards self-actualisation. Featured artists included Luke Fowler, Margaret Salmon and William Raban.