Lost in Transit

19 October 2013 - 0 January 0000

Offsite project at Cathays Library for MadeinRoath 2013

Holly Davey, <i>They Could Never Quench the Fire of his Enthusiasm</i>
Holly Davey, They Could Never Quench the Fire of his Enthusiasm

Lost in Transit is an exhibition curated by g39 that explores the theme of documents, objects and artefacts that are re-translated after their initial reason for creation was forgotten. These artists have responded to archives but not with a purpose of uncovering facts. History lies in its telling, and the artists each engage with the facts of the situation with a subjective view.

Holly Davey is a lens-based artist exploring time, performance and location. She works with both photographs and video installations. They Could Never Quench the Fire of his Enthusiasm (main counter, front) is inspired by Davey's grandfather and explores the various meanings of the iconic white feather – from cowardice during wartime, through a declaration of pacifism, to a symbol of an extraordinary act of bravery. A line of handwritten text on the feather is the title of an article published in 1962 about the artist’s grandfather, a conscientious objector during World War II and a political activist for the rest of his life.

Pascal-Michel Dubois describes his work as an idle observation of life, like a doodle. Première (main counter, rear) consists of a vintage Rolodex cardholder filled with over 400 card files. On each card, a short text has been typed. Each text is the marketing tagline of a motion picture. Library users are encouraged to manipulate the cardholder and even change the position of the cards in order to create their own small stories.
And nearby a wooden woodpecker toy, dismantled/discarded/incarcerated after an unknown experiment (the Augustus.Barclay.Yaffle experiment) has found a nice purpose built plinth in the library.

Michael Cousin has used found footage in the form of anonymous home movies bought from eBay as part of house clearances. The films 001 Train Journey and
009 - 018 Valerie & Countryside
(study chairs in central area and west wing respectively) have had new voiceovers specially written and then performed by actors. Each film has lost its original meaning or narrative and new one has been created from the observed sequences, from hints and moments, bringing them back to factional life. Each story is a mixture of autobiography, historical events and emotional response to the original film.

Sam Hasler is a live artist. He often uses drawing and writing and obeys a loose structure of rules or parameters that allows him to make creative responses to the space he works in. For Cathays Library he has produced a limited edition silkscreen poster that appears throughout the building on notice boards, pinned alongside announcements of forthcoming events and library information. It proclaims the headline phrase ‘Every weirdo in the world is on my wavelength’, which is a quote from New York writer Thomas Pynchon. Following the headline are what could be other literary quotes and authorial musings.

I was only a little wren by Holly Davey (three pairs of framed works, west and east wings) is based on a conversation that the artist had with a remarkable World War II veteran who was then based on the Isle of Wight. Holly uses her story to explore the way we form our memories and identity around storytelling.

[Cyclop] is another work by Pascal-Michel Dubois, an ongoing series of illustrations found in the glass topped vitrine (west wing). Displayed are [Cyclop]135, 316, 79, 2381, 583, 1182 and 1320. Taken from of a 1960s encyclopaedia, the main information (the text) has been erased, and only the illustrations remain. Without the text to explain and describe the context of these drawings, they can take on a different reading, constrained only by the imagination of the viewer.

Lost in Transit is in partnership with Cathays Library, and is a project for Made in Roath 2013. With thanks to Colin Bond

  • Holly Davey, <i>They Could Never Quench the Fire of his Enthusiasm</i>
  • Holly Davey, <i>I was only a little wren</i>
  • Holly Davey, <i>I was only a little wren</i>
  • Michael Cousin, <i>001 Train Journey</i>
  • Sam Hasler, Untitled
  • Pascal-Michel Dubois, <i>[Cyclop]</i> (detail)
  • Michael Cousin, <i>009 - 018 Valerie & Countryside</i>
  • Pascal-Michel Dubois, from the <i>[Cyclop]</i> series
  • Pascal-Michel Dubois, Untitled