4 September – 31 October 2017
Sonya Lacey (b. 1976, New Zealand) is a Wellington-based artist whose practice focuses on forms of communications within spoken, printed, and online scenarios. She works with a variety of mediums including performance, video, and installation often drawing on historical references to speculate on the specificity of socio-technological discourses. Alongside her studio practice, Lacey is also interested in curatorial, publishing, and collaborative methodologies. Together with Sarah Rose, she established the collaborative research project lightreading.
Her works have been shown at Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand (2017, 2016), Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art, United Kingdom (2016), and London International Film Festival, United Kingdom (2015).
During the residency, Lacey will develop One divides into two, a project which derives its title from a Maoist slogan from the 1960s. The project expands the artist’s investigations into non-western print histories and is backgrounded by her ongoing interest in the differing physical forms of public communication across various broadcasting platforms. Lacey aims to research current approaches to publishing and copyright in the Southeast Asian region with a specific focus on the printing history of Cambodia, looking in particular at bootlegged publications, the flouting of copyright laws, and the histories of digital piracy.
Residencies OPEN offers a rare insight into the often-introverted sphere of the artist’s studio. Through showcasing discussions, performances, installations, and works-in-progress, Residencies OPEN profiles the diversity of contemporary art practice from around the globe and the divergent ways artists conceive an artwork with the studio as a constant space for experimentation and research.
This edition of Residencies OPEN takes place on the occasion of Art After Dark x Gillman Barracks 5th Anniversary Celebrations, and features Chun Kaifeng (Singapore), Sonya Lacey (New Zealand), Kartik Sood (India), and Richard Streitmatter-Tran (Vietnam).
Confounding ordinary notions of legibility, the work of Sonya Lacey addresses the politics of communication by tampering with the concrete textures of language. Specifically conceived for The Vitrine, Speed Reading combines two bodies of work that put the sheer physicality of language to a test. Headlines from The Straits Times and Solar Print Tests (both 2017) result from a series of experiments, undertaken by the artist during her residency at NTU CCA Singapore, where she exposed newsprint paper to both sunlight and artificial light, while Dilutions, an earlier work from 2016, is a sculptural piece involving a movable metal typeface and the process of corrosion determined by lead oxide. Slowly warping over time, the material components entailed in the production and circulation of the written word, Speed Reading alters the boundaries of legibility and shakes the physical foundations of the transmission of knowledge.