‘We are having to react to very abnormal circumstances
but to react calmly and to do the right thing’
In ‘Kicking My Game’, Hannah Perry combines BBC English with passive-aggressive handwritten text (‘Do not unplug or switch off!’), boozy banter, hip hop, and a talk radio recording of a mother discussing her daughter’s sexual education. Perry takes material that is unfocussed when seen in isolation and opens these specific occurrences up to a wider narrative. The film is installed behind a series of transparent layers – coloured perspex, silkscreen prints of sculptural nudes, and bracelet links – superimposing a still photographic skin onto the moving image.
‘Get the loot get the ice
While I’m kicking my game and collecting them checks’
The artist samples from a wide range of sources: her own voice, conversations with friend, the wider media landscape. This mixed authorship allows her to modulate the emphasis of the film moment by moment, transforming banal low resolution imagery into a sublimely immersive experience while flattening high-production R&B tracks and weighty academic theory.
Perry begins each work by collecting and generating lyrics, newspaper headlines, dialogue, VHS footage, photographs, film stills, and field recordings. She integrates the disparate sources and subjects of this material through video editing, manipulation, and downgrading techniques – incorporating antiquated media formats the artist’s films also take advantage of state-of-the-art software. For example, Perry creates loops and beats from ‘vox pop’ recordings in Ableton Live, a music sequencing software more often used by DJs. She extends these editing techniques to her creation of wall works and sculpture, using parameters such as rhythm, timbre, quality, and repetition as a way to arrange and frame visual materials.
‘It was in the ephemeral
Of an attitude
Rather than the fixity
Of an object’
Recalling the title of Harald Szeemann’s seminal 1969 exhibition ‘Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form’, these lines highlight the artist’s collaborative and process-based methodology. This is evidenced in her presentation at the Serpentine Gallery’s 2014 Park Night, developed collaboratively with choreographer Holley Blakey, poet Sam Reviere, and a number of musicians and also in her live video performance at Barbican Centre, which was produced onsite and through workshops with high school groups. Elevating artistic process over a final product, Perry’s works take on a broad range of voices, registers, and economies of authority, occupying the languages of both mass media and contemporary art performance.
Hannah Perry (b. 1984, London) is an artist living and working in London. She received her BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London and her MA in Fine Art from The Royal Academy of Arts, London. Selected solo exhibitions include Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, 2016; Present Future, Artissima, Turin, 2015; Seventeen Gallery, London, 2015; Jeanine Hofland, Amsterdam, 2015; Steve Turner, Los Angeles, 2015; NADA New York, 2014; Les Urbaines, Switzerland, 2012; Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2012; Cell Project Space, London, 2012. Recent group shows include Salon Dahlmann, Berlin, 2016; Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna, 2016; Arsenal Montreal, 2016; Gamma Galería, Guadalajara, 2016; Bitforms Gallery, New York, 2016; Moran Bondaroff, Detroit; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2015; Dark Arts International, Mexico City, 2015; Kinman Gallery, New York & London, 2014; Arcadia Missa, London, 2014; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, 2014; New Galerie, Paris, 2014; Saatchi Gallery, London, 2014; Fahrenheit, Los Angeles, 2014; ICA, London, 2014; Turner Contemporary, Margate, 2014; David Roberts Art Foundation, London, 2014; Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2014. Perry performed at The Boiler Room, London in 2015, Serpentine Pavilion, London, in 2014, and Barbican Centre, London in 2013.