Andrew and Eden Kötting – Excuse me, can you help me please? I’m terribly worriedat New Art Projects, hackney, London, June2022 –
It isn’t quite a sense of innocence or, well, no, not quite a sense of anything that I want to try and (hopelessly) put a finger on. What are we seeing here? Whatever it is, these gallery rooms are alive with delight, with some kind connection to an otherness that we’re kind of privileged to get a look into. Something that while not quite private, does feel like something very personal – and yes you could say that about most (good) art that you find on the white walls of the better art galleries.
These drawings and paintings (and words on the pieces) are something of a delight, the film is a delight, another Whole World Window – the layers are a delight, the lines, the flow, but no, that’s not quite right either, ‘delight’ is too throwaway. Magical maybe? No, that’s not quite “it” and there are different currents in here and it would be easy to be lazy about all this when the show, the work, the film, the drawings all deserve so so so much more than a lazy review and throwaway words. The film is brilliant, watched it twice, really need to sit in the dark and see it projected up on the big gallery wall again. Love this show and I really don’t want to try too hard to tell you why, and no that isn’t lazy of me, I just don’t want to have to analyse it all, to over think it, to destroy the delight, to clutter it all up. I loved it, loved it so much I didn’t want to talk to anyone in the busy gallery on the opening night, I didn’t need anything or anyone getting in the way, rude of me (sorry) but this show experience needed no distractions.
“New Art Projects are delighted to present the first London solo exhibition from Andrew and Eden Kötting. Excuse me, can you help me please? I’m terribly worried brings together their work collaborating in one capacity or another for over 34 years. Questions of authorship can be raised: Who made what? Who instigated what? How did this magical world arrive and from who’s universe? While this uncertainty can be questioned, here it is celebrated and laid open, as ownership and authorship are replaced by a creative partnership, with startling results
Working across a wide variety of media, the artists employ it to stand as a portal that cuts through different cognitive worlds and uses it to break down barriers and lazy definitions between traditional visual and neurological pathways. The exhibition includes drawings, collages, paintings and sculptures that were made before during and after the production of their award-winning film Diseased and Disorderly, which will also be shown. Tell-Tale Heads from the film are let loose through the galleries en route to the Tell-Tale Rooms Virtual Reality Experience which will also inhabit the gallery further breaking down the barriers between the artists and the worlds they have created.
This exhibition aims to firmly confront the idea that this kind of collaboration is unequal and instead looks to celebrate diversity within collaboration and to let every voice rise up equally. Here the freedom to create is an open door through which many people can enter in their own way. The exhibition not only gives a platform to the different voices that come to us in singular and complex ways it gives you access to the diverse world people around you inhabit, which are so often overlooked.
“They make art as they breathe, hard and fast and memorable; paintings, postcards, installations, rants, poems and freewheeling film ‘songs’…. Eden ventriloquizes her father to provide the written text for her drawings and paintings that are already replete with meaning…. she provides a commentary and series of foot-notes for the Grand Projects that her father is undertaking…. An agenda or appendix in a different form and much truer or closer to the original sign makings and drawings on the walls of caves….” Iain Sinclair
“Andrew Kötting has been making films for a long time. But are his films even films at all? Or are they by-products, documenting other processes, their purpose known only to the artist himself? To me the film Gallivant seemed immediately one of the greatest things any human being had ever made. We spend a lot of time peering over our shoulders at the artists we’ve lost, forgetting that, if we look for them, some of the greatest are amongst us now.” Stewart Lee
And yes, I know, just parking the press release and the quotes up there is lazy lazy lazy but you see, this world that Eden Kötting takes us into, this world the two of them, both Andrew and Eden take us into requires no real comment from anyone, you just need to go with them, to delight in it all, to feel the, well there we go again, to feel the what? Confliction? Delight? What are we feeling here? Is it delight? Is that a way too lazy word or is it really that simple? That brilliant? Far more complex? The Wondrous Realities? A touch of anger? To let them lead you to who knows where? It is something wonderful, who did what? It is, oh look, I don’t want to say it but it is a bit like Cardiacs and yes, that’s very lazy as well, that other world that really isn’t another world, more a world right there and just a different view (ot views) of it and fish and teeth and swimming against the tide and the prefect sense of stuff of no sense and the whole garden of exotic mistakes and well just really try to get there and see it if you can, I don’t want to have to explain how good it all is, the delight, the confliction, the beauty, the bite, just go… (sw)
New Art Projects is at 6d Sheep Lane, Hackney, London, E8 4QS. Just by Broadway Market, not far from the Regents Canal and a stone’s throw from Beck Road. The show is on until July 31st. The gallery is open Wednesday through to Saturday, 11am until 6pm.
Andrew and Eden Kötting are part of The Project Art Works collective, who were nominated for the Turner Prize in 2021. As part of their Turner exhibition they showed a constructed space that held a physical and digital archive from over 4,000 works by neurodivergent artists and makers over two decades. The archive embodies a visible trace of people who are often hidden in the world.
Diseased and Disorderly is a film released in 2021 directed by Andrew Kötting in which Neurodivergent artist Eden Kötting, who was born with Joubert Syndrome, takes the viewer on a journey into her reality through her collages, self-portraits, and still-life drawings. It was funded by the BFI and the National Lottery. The film is running at the gallery as part of the show
As always, click on an image to enlarge or to run the slide show and get a flavour or two…