ARTLACUNAErrorlla·cu·na/ləˈk(y)o͞onəArtLacuna is an artist-led space established in May 2013, located in an old coroner's office near Clapham Junction. It accommodates artist studios, a residency and research program, as well as project and exhibition space.

EXHIBITIONS

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upcoming exhibition(s)


HOW TO DO THINGS WITH WORDS



JENNY EKHOLM BAILES / KEVIN GAFFNEY / ANDREW LACON / VICKI THORNTON / TOM POPE

PRIVATE VIEW: THURSDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2018, 6-9PM
OPEN: 28TH SEPTEMBER – 14TH OCTOBER by appointment only




The relationship between words and actions is encompassed by the term performative. J L Austin coined the concept of the performative in his seminal lectures, How to Do Things with Words (1962), stating that ‘The uttering of the sentence is, or is a part of, the doing of an action…’1 The performative utterance is the actualisation of what a sentence states: it’s not the describing of an action, but the performing of an action through saying the words in a sentence. Austin poses a number of everyday examples of the performative utterance:

a.       ‘I do (sc. take this woman to be my lawful wedded wife)’ – as uttered in the course of the marriage ceremony.
b.      ‘I name this ship the Queen Elizabeth’ – as uttered when smashing the bottle against the stem.
c.       ‘I give and bequeath my watch to my brother’ – as occurring in a will.
d.      ‘I bet you sixpence it will rain tomorrow.’

In these examples, it seems clear that to utter the sentence (in, of course, the appropriate circumstances) is not to describe my doing of what I should be said in so uttering to be doing or to state that I am doing it: it is to do it... the issuing of an utterance is the performance of an action.2

Since the introduction of the performative utterance in linguistic theory, its use has transcended words to become a common notion in the visual arts. Artists utilise the performative in the production, presentation and theorisation of artworks. Performative strategies are employed in the production of works by folding the creation of an artwork with an event, often a performance event. Whereas the performative is primarily utilised in the presentation of artworks where the audience is required to ‘complete’ the work of art through interacting with it, frequently more so than simply looking. The theorisation of the performative in an artwork sees the artist amalgamate the performative utterance and visual theory, bringing the artwork to life somewhere between words and object, words and action.

The five artists exhibited all employ the performative in intriguing and thought-provoking ways within their artistic practice. Linked not only by performative tendencies, Jenny Ekholm Bailes, Kevin Gaffney, Andrew Lacon, Vicki Thornton and Tom Pope studied together at the Royal College of Art (2009-2011).



1 J. L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words, ed. J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisá. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962.) p5
2 J. L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words, ed. J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisá. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962.) p5





ARTLACUNA
48 Falcon Road
London
SW11 2LR