The Foundation is a new film installation by British artist Patrick Staff which explores queer intergenerational relationships negotiated through historical materials. The film combines footage shot at the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles — home to the archive of the erotic artist and gay icon and the community of people who now care for it — with choreographed sequences shot within a specially constructed set. Observational footage of the foundation reveals it as a domestic environment, a libidinal space and an archive; a private space which is also a public-facing organisation. As a younger trans person in a context dominated by the overt masculinity of an older generation, Staff considers the complexity of ideas around inheritance and exchange.
The Foundation is co-commissioned by Spike Island, Bristol; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. Co-produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London and Spike Island, Bristol.
With thanks to the Tom of Finland Foundation. The Foundation is supported by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts, The Elephant Trust and the Genesis Prize.
Patrick Staff (b. 1987) is a British artist based in London who works with video, installation, performance and publishing. He frequently collaborates with other artists, dancers, historians and public participants creating malleable frameworks for socially engaged research mediated by moving image.
For his first solo exhibition in a British institution, Swiss-born, Berlin-based artist Reto Pulfer presents a new site-specific installation titled MMMS Reticulum.
MMMS stands for Method, Maps, Mnemonics, Spiele (German for 'games') while Reticulum is Latin for 'net'. This immersive work consists of a hand-knotted net, hanging from which are Raku ceramics fired by the artist on the opening night during a live performance. Shown alongside this piece are hand-drawn maps which recall places he has lived, travelled to or imagined. They expand on Mnemonics: an ancient memory technique which was researched and revived by the historian Frances A Yates in her 1966 essay The Art of Memory. These accompanying studio works document Pulfer's making process and reflect his interest in language and writing.
Reto Pulfer (b. 1981 in Bern), lives and works in Berlin. In 2015, the artist presents a series of solo exhibitions at Centre d’art Contemporain, Geneva; Musée régional d’art contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon, Sérignan, France; Spike Island, Bristol, UK and Centre International d’art et du Paysage, Île de Vassivière, France.
Selected past solo exhibitions include: Die Gelassenheit der Entscheidung, Hollybush Gardens, London; Zustand der Intensivierung, Kunstverein Nürnberg – Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft, Nuremberg; Zustandseffekte, Swiss Institute, New York (all 2013); Schrank und Dessen Leben, Balice Hertling, Paris (2012); Die Vertretung des Erschöpften, Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Milan (20111). Selected past group exhibitions include:Interior, Modern Art, London; Kill All Monsters, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel (both 2014); Soft Wear, Sandy Brown, Berlin; Unless otherwise noted, CCS Bard, Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Chat Jet, Künstlerhaus Graz (all 2013); Tableaux, CNAC Le Magasin, Grenoble (2011); Animism, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp, MuHKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp and Kunsthalle Bern (all 2010).