Esther Windsor

Hull Time Based Arts

Illuminate, 2006


Illuminate and Light Night Oct 6 2006

Hull Time Based Arts had commissioned artists for Illuminate to celebrate cultural icons of Hull. Cedric Christie’s has made a customised car celebrating Wilberforce and images iconic of Hull sports and history, titled ‘if your names not on the list you’re not coming in’ referring to Hulls history of turning away king Charles, from Beverley Gate, marking the beginning of the civil war. The title also refers to the fact slaves did not have names until owned by a master and of course in contemporary life, door policy signalling importance or exclusion. Jessica Voorsanger has made posters about Hull celebs. Bob and Roberta Smith’s sign ‘I believe’ invites you to text what you believe in. Freee have made a video of 1970’s comedian Norman Collier famous for his broken microphone and chicken sketches, that includes comments on the public’s voice. This is to be shown at the city library. Lastly Gavin Turk has made iconic art multiples to be distributed. Come to the car in the square for more details and further dates and times. All artists address the idea of Icons, be they in historical heros and heroines, of media celebrity status or of everday life.

Background on the Artists

Cedric Christie

Cedric Christie was born in 1962 in London. He still lives there; his base is in Hackney, more precisely in its lower part, around Hoxton. The area several years ago started to become the hot spot for artists. Still, picturing Christie in Hoxton is somehow misleading. One might think he has always craved its hype. It is not the case. Christie was a welder. And at ease with that. He dealt with cars; only somebody who worked as many years as he did in that field can thoroughly understand what it takes to make a client satisfied: an absolutely perfect job. So it should not surprise that, on one of his girlfriend's tours to check art shows in hot Hoxton, he noticed bad welding on metal works at a café-gallery. Something clicked in his head and he immediately put himself down to work.
The results are -by now- rather known in the international art scene. Snooker ball sculptures, monochrome portraits on aluminium, bricks with engraved phrases, scaffolding poles and clamps combined together are just some of the artworks he produced. He works with materials that much have to do with his previous occupation; he skilfully plays with their forms, he selects intense colours for them, he accurately combines them together to reach extremely powerful, abstract objects. They are all works full of wit, maybe expressing his attitude towards the art world, a world that just recently started to be his own. He kindly took us visiting his studio. Peace reigned. There, we found some of his old works and some of what we dared to think his new ones. Some neon lights caught our eye.

For Illuminate: A fully customised ‘bling’, ‘Pimped up’ car bearing icons representing Wilberforce, Hull football, rugby and some of Hull’s key historical moments Eg. ‘Am I not a man and a brother.’ The car will be in Victoria Square for Light Night providing information about other Hull Time Based Arts Illuminate artists projects and will be driven by the artists and an artworker to supermarket carparks, university campus’s and other prominent locations. The car will also travel to Freize art Fair and Scope art Fair in London from 12 Oct., to attract international attention and make an appearance at the private view of a solo exhibition of the artist at Carter Presents, London.

Jessica Voorsanger

Jessica Voorsanger is an American artist living in London. She makes work exploring celebrity through obsession, fans and media representation. This is achieved through video, performance, mail art, installation and painting. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA) and Goldsmiths College (MA). She has had one person exhibitions in London, New York, Edinburgh, Berlin & Turin. She is currently showing at Gallery-33 FON in Berlin. In September 2006, she will be doing a performance at the Hayward Gallery in London and will be showing at the Serpentine Gallery as part of the project ‘Hearing Voices Seeing Things’.

In 1999-2000 was invited to create something to ‘celebrate’ Liverpool for the Liverpool Biennial. I felt the best way to do this was to honour both of the premier league football teams that have divided Liverpool as a city for many years; Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs.

Jessica Voorsanger was invited to created a piece for the 1999 Liverpool Biennial. The project itself consisted of having eleven players from each team (eleven representing a playing team) and eleven of their fans make impressions of their football boots (or shoes, if a fan) in plasticene. These were then made into ceramic tiles and glazed in the colours of their respective teams. The complete set of 44 tiles were shown at the Tate Liverpool.

For Illuminate: Jessica will be collecting nominated icons from Hull people and including their dedications on posters made in collaged paper. Jessica is also a big fan of Maureen Lipman.

Which Hull Hero or Celeb Tickles Your Fancy?

Tell us who and why in one sentence and your thoughts could be on posters in Hull as part of artist, Jessica Voorsanger’s project for Hull Time Based Arts (HTBA) as part of Illuminate, 2006.

Don’t miss your chance to let us know who is your icon for Hull!

Gavin Turk

Gavin Turk is an artist who continually investigates what it means to be an artist, many of his works deal with issues of authorship, authenticity and originality. He announced his artistic programme in 1991 when he was denied an MA certificate from the Royal College of Art for presenting at his degree show, an English Heritage plaque bearing the inscription "Borough of Kensington Gavin Turk Sculptor Worked Here 1989-1991". The rest of the studio space was completely empty. Turk symbolically killed himself off when he had only just begun.

Having, in a sense, made himself invisible, Turk could go on to adopt different personas. He has made his own version of works by Klein, Manzoni, Broodthaers, Magritte and Warhol. These works both disguise the artist and reveal his horizon of influence. Concerned with the 'myth' of the artist and the 'authorship' of a work, Turk's engagement with this modernist, avant-garde debate stretches back to the ready-mades of Marcel Duchamp. In the early 1990s he explored issues of authorship and identity by making a number of works based on his own signature that comment on the value that the artist's name confers onto a work.

He has also made a number of photographic and sculptural self-portraits that often involve some degree of disguise. His best-known sculpture 'Pop' (1993) is a waxwork of Gavin Turk as Sid Vicious in the stance of Warhol's Elvis Presley.

For Illuminate: Recycling bags in cotton or recycled fibre in the design of Jacksons carrier bags, printed with G Turk signature and poetry/first lines of tunes/names of bands or fishing tales. To be distributed free


Announcing the launch of Freee, a new art collective bringing together the practices of Dave Beech, Andy Hewitt and Mel Jordan. After producing a body of works together over the last year and a half in a loose collaboration (alongside working individually and in other collaborations), the three artists have decided to make a firm commitment to collaborating together full time as Freee. So, while Freee is a new art group, it brings together artists with a shared history of engagement in critical practice. The artists have previously worked together on several critical public art projects for exhibitions such as Gavin Wade’s Strategic Question: What are Aesthetics? at the Venice Biennale 2005, B+B’s Real Estate at the ICA in London 2005, and the Guangzhou Triennale curated by Hou Hanru in China 2005. Freee is launching itself with several projects in July 2006 How to Talk to Buildings Freee has been been commissioned to make a new work by ARC in Hull for Architecture Week. This new work turns the tables on the relationship between architecture and the ordinary citizen: instead of being subject to the secret codes of architectural design, the citizen addresses buildings in terms of personal memories, local knowledge and the routines that surround them. A small group of local participants took part in workshops where they produced a short script that responded to buildings or places in Hull, not to become experts in architecture but to bring the architecture back into the daily experiences of ordinary people. These individual ten– minute scripts where then read out aloud by members of the participating group as they stood in front of buildings, public statues, and local landmarks – talking to buildings. The videos document a charged encounter between local people and the buildings that stand out for them in their locale.

For Illuminate: a video of Norman Collier performing exclusively for Freee and illuminate, to be shown in the Foyer of Central Library. We thought Norman Collier was a terrific Icon for Hull as he was a popular working class celebrity through his TV appearances in the 70's and 80's. His act with the malfunctioning mic is very funny, in fact iconic in TV comedy history. His act is very visual, he is a clown. The act will be memorable to those who saw it first time round and will be funny to those who are seeing it for the first time. Maybe people don't know his name but they will remember the act. Perhaps people don't know he is from Hull but they will through this project.

We will choose some of the following lines for Norman to use, these are just a beginning. These ideas are taken from a recent paper that we wrote on Functions, Functionality and Functionlessness, where we explore the notion of a counter-public sphere, these ideas originate and develop Habermas's ides of the public sphere and also refer to Terry Eagleton's 'Function of Criticism'

We will ask him to repeat them and treat them using his method or interruption.

If you've paid to listen to me then you can't hear me.

When is the public not a public? When it's a market.

Democracy has turned into marketing.

Opinion don't count any more if they're not polled.

Subcultures breathe life into the dying public sphere.

Democracy was created by ordinary people transforming the state and it was
killed off when the state transformed ordinary people.

Celebrity endorsements are the industrialization of citizenship.

These texts are short and clear. They will be broken up by Norman's repeated attempts at their delivery, the viewer will piece them together and make sense of them. The work sees the contradiction of Norman the comic delivering a faltering critique of the public sphere. The work will be viewed in public spaces.

Watch the video at Freee's website:

Bob and Roberta Smith

Help Build the Ruins of Democracy - BOB & ROBERTA SMITH
December - April 2005

Bob & Roberta Smith are an artistic enterprise, sincere in their ambition to bring anarchy to people’s perception of art through a conceptual yet playful approach to art and art making.

Help Build the Ruins of Democracy, a solo show at The Baltic, comprised of text panel work and was developed in conjunction with visitors to the gallery, who were invited to contribute their own texts and help create new panels. Hand painted texts are often mounted on the side of prominent buildings mischievously questions notions of leadership, politics and vehicles for decision making.

For Illuminate: A hand painted sign in Bob and Roberta Smith house style reading ‘I believe in ‘Trobbing Gristle’ (or the name of a similar Hull band or Icon) ‘who do you believe in. text ………
Texts will be periodically projected using a guerrilla hand held projector around the city and recorded making an artwork made by the people of Hull.