Crypta Silent Monologue
Introduction by Miseongoa Shin, Curator
Crypta Silent Monologue 2012 is the first part of a series of annual contemporary visual art projects showcasing emerging artists based in the United Kingdom. The exhibition takes place in the crypt of St. Pancras Church, which is a Grade 1 Listed Building of historical and architectural significance.
The exhibition brings together seventeen artists: Sandra Robinson; Maria Emilov Silvestar; Tugce Karapinar; Priscilla Namwebe; Alex Lewis; Marta Molka; Sarah Edgington; Eirini Georgopoulou; Katerina Georgopoulou; Russell Morton; Murray Anderson; Ruyi Wong; Mirei Yazawa; Kim Gladwin; Fabio Lattanzi Antinori; Cedar Zhou and Catherine M. Weir, with aims to produce a diverse range of works and most notably, pushes the boundaries of contemporary art and its current method of exhibition. Silent Monologue facilitates an experience of a large scale interdisciplinary contemporary art practices that explore concept, form and technique from across the fine, craft, performing and media arts.
The ‘Crypta’, deriving from the Latin word for ‘crypt,’ was most commonly constructed beneath a church for the purpose of either a chapel or burial space. The crypt was used for coffin burials from 1822 when the church was opened, until 1854, when the crypts of London churches were closed to all burials. This tranquil space remains the final resting space for five hundred and fifty seven people.
Whilst the crypt’s traditional context is one of religion and memorial, Crypta Silent Monologue 2012 attempts to re-define its historical utility by turning the perspective to an artist’s personal expression in its uniquely meditative space. The evocative essence of Crypta interweaves inextricably with the artists’ own poetic voices of their personal affairs in everyday life, manifesting into contemporary works, representing personal narratives of anger, sadness, dilemma, mindless self-indulgence and humour. The voyeurism into the artists’ private monologues will resonate a strange familiarity to all who wonder into Crypta.
These artists have found ways to transform everyday subjects; mundane and the familiar and presented them in witty and unexpected ways. The artists draw their inspiration from the common things that surround people in everyday life − popular culture, ordinary daily situations and personal contemplations and musings. The artists, coming together to re-define and question the subjects of everyday, articulating inner monologues into thoughtful dialogues.
Collectively, the works employ a wide range of techniques from traditional engraving, casting and dyeing to multimedia video projection, sound and light effects. Working with exceptional skills and details, the artists have used ordinary materials from the natural and the man-made – sand and stone to a car lorry tyre and old family photographs – to create works that are both intricate and large scale.
The exhibition of works by selected artists in such an unusual space is crucial to the concept of this show. Rather than following display of art of the white cube model of a blank space, this exhibition aims to present an alternative, an unorthodox way of looking at the relationship between architectural attributes, engaging curiously with the chilling aesthetic and the mystical atmosphere of the crypt and various forms of contemporary art practices, incorporating film, installation, light, sound, sculpture and photography and through the exploitation of the architectural qualities and the scale of the space. Silent Monologues fascinatingly creates a groundbreaking relationship between the historical space and cutting-edge contemporary artworks.
The exhibition will suggest a new direction for the interdisciplinary art practice in contemporary visual art.