RALLY Festival Commission
Shanti Bell / Liza Dickson / Agostino Quaranta
Curated by Andia Coral Newton
1 – 5 August 2023
An exhibition developing the relationship between sound and visual art, transforming the traditional gallery space through installation, performance, video and textiles.
To celebrate the inaugural Rally Festival at Southwark Park (Saturday 5 August 2023), Bermondsey Project Space has partnered with the Gala and Bird on the Wire to present an exhibition platforming three emerging artists incorporating sound into their practice.
The exhibition brings together sound and textile pieces by Liza Dickson, video work and prints by Agostino Quaranta, and works combining fashion, sculpture and performance by Shanti Bell. The launch party will also feature a programme of performances, music and DJ sets by all three artists.
Taken individually, the works in this exhibition reflect the dynamic approaches to sonic art in the current South London scene. Each artist will take their moments in the spotlight to create multi-sensory, multi-media experiences, with visitors invited to consider how sound interacts with what we see, the spaces we inhabit, and even the clothes we wear.
SONIC BOOM LAUNCH PARTY: Wednesday 2 August, 6-9pm
Shanti Bell is a multidisciplinary artist, fashion practitioner, and maker. Her creative journey revolves around crafting expressive and resonant moments which are authentic and a reflection of life. Through her work, Shanti looks to creatively navigate emotions, delve into the intricacies of human connections, and explore the ever-evolving dynamics of family and personal relationships. Shanti engages with various mediums including: sound, performance, sculpture, furniture, and wearable art using a blend of materials such as wood, metal, and fabric.
Shanti’s Project showcased in SONIC BOOM:
“This project is an inward glance, it reveals a journey of introspection following three narratives of progression: confronting recognition as a beginning; navigating a tender battle and slowly growing towards an imperfectly perfect freedom. I see the human form as a living sculpture. Our interactions with others leave lasting imprints that mould and define who we become.
Hear Me Now particularly explores how parents both influence and impact the self. Through a visual narrative comprising both a soundscape and landscape, this project serves as an introspective moment, a turning inside out offering a space of an inward glance being shared outward.
In creating this project, I sought to establish relationship between sound and image and how they could collide and overlap. Collaborating with Yazmyn Hendrix, a vocal loop artist, was a natural choice due to the inherent connection between a loop pedal’s isolated voice, which then becomes gradually layered, and the layers of self-exploration that occur during introspection.
This project is an intimate exploration, sensitively crafted by a team of formidable women with personal ties to its essence. It all began with a simple act: sitting with myself, creating space to truly hear and see who resided within. Through sharing, I discovered the profound overlaps in our lives, reminding us that we are never alone in our experiences and embracing that it is continuous journey is important.”
Psychedelic in form + function: cloaking the dreamer, alchemically patchworked together, a focal point for neurosis that transfigures obsessive tendencies into objects that balance comfort + overwhelm – quilts hum with acidic potency.
When activated by audio-visual installation + performance, quilts generate environments of breakage, spaces for the thresholds of consciousness to be agitated as emulation/invocation of the bliss found under rave – or the rapturous ecstasy brought on by overstimulation – vibrational possession. Sonic catharsis reigns, bodies merge in a field of static. Taken by rhythm, a moment of total (dis)embodiment.
Liza’s Project showcased in SONIC BOOM:
“The quilt shown here, and its accompanying sound installation & performance, is the focal point of an ongoing project: [Matter gave birth to] a passion that has no equal.
Made using different shades of white and black cotton, subtle changes in texture & tone are hidden within the quilt’s high intensity pattern. Mistakes, tears & weak stitching have been mended using bright red cotton thread – leakages revealing imperfections within the quilt as a tender embrace of the deeply personal, handmade nature of quilt making.
Generated from personal meditations on love, depression and yearning as modes of access both the sacred and profane aspects of self, the ongoing project is an exploration of repressed emotions dissected and expelled in states of heightened experience. Cycles of hedonism as catharsis & exhaustion in exchange.
Utilising live ambient feedback loops with spoken word, vocalisations and strobe lighting as activation for both the visual potency of the quilt and the release of psychic tensions, aiming to evoke both collective and individual ecstatic states. A warping of the traditional with a pseudo-spirituality, drawing from the psychedelic ideals of rave culture, esoteric traditions and symbolism and total dedication to inherited craft.”
Agostino Quaranta is a London-based artist, DJ and music producer. His work focuses on making site-specific installations and cultivating a mixed media and research-based practice. He integrates interests in architecture with sound and moving image while focusing on music cultures, oral traditions and a constant search for the vernacular.
In 2018, he started Turbo Sud, a project aiming to document the contemporary and traditional music scenes of Southern Italy between the factual and the imaginary. Following his residency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2019, he presented the pop-up exhibition Turbo Sud Lab in May 2022 and hosted a DJ set inside James Turrel’s Deer Shelter Skyspace. Alongside his practice as a visual artist, he has curated radio shows as part of Turbo Sud and under his moniker AGOSTINO for radios including NTS, Radio Alhara, and Foundation FM, and performed at various electronic music festivals.
In 2023, he released his first EP, ZONA SISRI featuring remixes by Ehua and Piezo, with London label Le Chatroom, followed by STP U51 for Hundebiss Records. The two releases were composed in his family town Ostuni, in Puglia, and celebrate the history of Tecnopizzica, rare experiments of the 90s to computerise local traditional music Pizzica Salentina.
Agostino’s Project showcased in SONIC BOOM:
“Tecnopizzica (2022) is a video essay I started during a residency at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2019. The film later grew into a three-year research-based project and music investigation I developed between London and Puglia in Southeast Italy. The video aims to unearth the re-manufacturing process behind Puglia’s traditional music, Pizzica Pizzica, and the forgotten story from the early ’90s of its electronic counterpart, Tecnopizzica. Between the imaginary and the factual, the work questions notions about authenticity, collective memory, and the value of sonic traditions through the story of an ancient music genre poised between extinction, revival, and early computer music experiments. As part of the same research, throughout the making of this film, I developed a written essay on Norient.com, radio shows, and live performances.”