Filed under: .Tether, Benjamin Hargrave, Hugh Dichmont, Liam Aitken, Samuel Mercer | Tags: .Tether, all smoke and no fire, collaboration, Exhibition, free range, london
As part of Free Range 2008, Tether produced a five-day collaborative show entitled All Smoke and No Fire.
Focusing on the process of artistic compromise and reflecting upon the reality of post-graduate life, All Smoke and No Fire presented artworks that reacted to the challenge of creating work as a collective, and attempted to live up to the cavernous grandeur of the Old Truman Brewery.
Playing with notions of spectacle and ambition, the works –which ranged from architectural interventions, to sculptural installations, to performance- stood out in Free Range’s Design Week as distinct and different. The central piece, a 10ft high Trojan horse made of wood and cardboard, alluded light-heartedly to this notion of difference; the construction a discarded “prop” from the Tether Group’s “invasion” of the Old Truman Brewery complex, in a week otherwise devoted to design.
Other works included the mobile architectural interventions known as “Pillar Men”, which roamed All Smoke and No Fire, seeking to find their place among the numerous concrete columns which characterise the Old Truman Brewery space. Replete with personalities of their own, Pillar Men were liable to follow you, and yet equally prone to shyness and attempts at hiding. No matter how hard they try, the audience may have spotted them.
Like the Wizard of Oz -hiding behind a curtain and bombastic effects to disguise his slight appearance- All Smoke and No Fire pretended to be far grander than it actually was.
The pieces that made up All Smoke and No Fire distinguished the show from all other Free Range exhibitions thus far- representing the combined practices of roughly a dozen fine artists, free from individual artistic ownership from any of the group’s constituent members.
This project was supported by Nottingham Trent University as part of their One Year Out support scheme for Nottingham-based art graduates.