Site Gallery set to host weekend highlighting radical print in the UK

Site Gallery set to host weekend highlighting radical print in the UK

05 October 2018

Sheffield's Site Gallery is set to host a weekend of events  highlighting radical writing and independent publishing in the UK when Strong Language takes place 12 - 14 October 2018. 

Built around a weekend exhibition of Piece of Paper Press editions and ephemera in Site Gallery’s project space, Strong Language will present three days of readings, performances, projections, installations and discussions with new work from M. John Harrison, Selina Thompson, Joolz Denby, Courttia Newland, Tony White and more, curated by Tim Etchells 

Opening with the first short event on Friday evening “Strong Language Live #1” a powerful and playful start with readings from the genre-defying authors M John Harrison and Courttia Newland who both have new texts published by Piece of Paper Press available to collect free on the night. Additional word play from curator Tim Etchells and from artist Vlatka Horvat who’ll be reading a text related to her brand new projection piece As Things, As Animals on display at locations around the city. 

On both the Friday and Saturday night Sheffield’s buildings will be lit up with Vlatka Horvat’s As Things, As Animals which imagines and reimagines human features, conditions, personality traits, and appearance via a collection of commonplace idioms comparing people to physical objects, natural phenomena as well as to animals, insects, and other creatures. Creating a picture of humanity that shifts between the comical, the grotesque, and the poetic, Horvat’s text is a surprising and playful compendium that moves from Strong as an Ox and Frightened as a Mouse to Thin as a Rake and Cool as a Cucumber. Projected large-scale on the walls of location(s) in the city centre, Horvat’s work is visible from 8 to 10pm. 

The weekend continues with two more events on Saturday; Small is Beautiful is a two part discussion event around the labour of love that is radical print. In the first part artist Penny McCarthy will talk to the artist Janette Paris about her celebrated Arch Comic – ‘Bringing art and life together’ since 2011 – and to Tony White about the ambitions and approaches of Piece of Paper Press. In part two, Leigh Wilson chairs a discussion about passion, politics and innovation featuring a rich array of forces to be reckoned with in contemporary independent publishing, from Sheffield-based & Other Stories to Dostoyevsky Wannabe and Longbarrow Press. 

Saturday’s Strong Language Live #2 is a bold follow up to Friday’s session comprising an inventive and restless evening of performances, readings and installations. Renowned punk poet, author and tattooist Joolz Denby shares the stage with performer Selina Thompson whose work touches on identity, bodies and the environment. Both Joolz and Selina will have new texts published by Piece of Paper Press available to collect free on the night. Lending further grace and gravity to the evening is Piece of Paper press editor and cult author Tony White, reading stories including The Holborn Cenotaph – ‘his powerful satirical performance piece’ (Financial Times) – that mix contemporary urban concerns with an approach that’s both gritty and conceptual. 

Across from Site Gallery over the whole weekend Selina Thompson’s Race Cards is available for all to experience. The installation comprises a room containing 1000 questions about race, written by artist and performance maker Selina Thompson in three sittings across 24 hours one weekend in Edinburgh. Visitors to the installation are invited to read the questions and answer any one of them. From number 65 Are you black, or are you ‘new black’? to number 220 My mum does not talk about race any more. It makes her uncomfortable, tired. Will this happen to me? 

‘The work isn’t about answering questions; it’s about igniting an internal discussion in each of us that allows for the possibility of self-awareness, analysis and reflection.’– Harold Offeh, This is Tomorrow. 

Tim Etchells says “I’m really delighted to bring this fantastic, inspiring and provocative group of writers, artists and publishers together for Strong Language in Sheffield.” 

“"Sheffield was the making of me. I'm an author now, but 30 years ago I was lucky enough to study at Psalter Lane, and the work I do now - especially with Piece of Paper Press - is directly inspired by that time, and by Sheffield's cottage industry culture." Tony White 

Booking and further details for all events and opening hours are available online at: www.ourfaveplaces.co.uk/strong-language 

Strong Language is curated by the artist, writer and performance maker Tim Etchells of Sheffield’s Forced Entertainment. Supported by The University of Sheffield and Marketing Sheffield through their Arts Council England funded Cultural Destinations project.