Friday, 16 November 2012

Frank! at Rowing, London - 30 Nov / 9 Feb

Francesco Pedraglio
30 Nov - 9 Feb

Unit F, 449 Holloway Road
London N7 6LJ
+44 (0)75 4093 4636

Frank! is an exhibition of newly produced works by Francesco Pedraglio and, at the same time, a collaboration with seven other artists (Nina Beier, Paul Becker, Alex Cecchetti, David Raymond Conroy, Chosil Kil, Simon Dybbroe Møller and Robert Frank) directly or indirectly invited by Pedraglio in relation to some of the ideas underpinning the exhibition.


The action or, if you prefer, the exhibition, takes place mostly during daytime… within office hours so to speak… from 12 to 6 or by appointment. Well, obviously it’s still there at night, when we’ve all left… out and about… thinking of something else, by ourselves or with someone else. Even then it’s there. It exists while you are walking out of that space, down the street and straight into your local corner shop to buy yourself some dinner, and it exists while the building superintendent moves slowly through the narrow backyard to shut the front gate and turn the light off in the main stairwell so that you can’t get into the building until the morning after. It exists and that’s about it… it’s there! And with this I mean it’s there even when we don’t look at it. Banal? I know… but as I’m the first to forget, it might be a good idea to remind you all about it… even if we know that what really matters is somewhere else, right? A world elsewhere. Because indeed what counts here, is that our action or exhibition, well, it’s actually a person… a real person… we need to imagine it as an individual, a being with all the component parts we would expect a being to have, all the physical and psychological idiosyncrasies that make of him or her who he or she is.

Little confusing maybe… so let’s make it all a bit less specific… or a bit more abstract if you prefer, if that’s even imaginable. Let’s say that our action or exhibition, which, as I have explained, is a person, a character really, well, let’s address this he or she as an it. Makes sense, no? It might actually help… might be simpler to tell our story if we don’t pick a definite angle yet, letting all our options lie there… wide open.

Keep it abstract. And anyway it’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions, to take upon our heads any more responsibilities than we need to. If you prefer, if it makes it easier for you, let’s think of the entire situation as a constructed fiction, a planned-out story. Note that this is not really the case: our character is real… or at least as real as you or me or all the objects you see scattered around the room. But if it helps you to imagine it as a 12-to-6-or-by- appointment kind of person, an on-stage-off-stage kind of guy, well, feel free… just if it helps… as we all know things are more complex than this, right? At least more convoluted, more elaborated… even after closing time… even when we can’t really tell what happens in there, in that space, when we’re off somewhere else and have managed to forget all about the entire business.

Now let’s give it a name. Let’s say it’s called Frank! So Frank!, our action, our show, our character – potentially mine or your story – well, Frank! is a person like any other person… it just happened to be here, now, existing as an exhibition of some sort… constructed as a series of scenarios re-enacting the psychology of a character. So every object shown or performed has to be considered per se as something existing in and from the world… out there… and, at the same time, as plots proposing possible takes on our character, as proxies for Frank!, cosmogonies for its own fiction.

Consequently Frank! itself could be seen as an abstraction defined by the narratives we project around or onto this agglomeration of objects you see here, now, leaning up against the walls or scattered willy-nilly around the room. Everything in here is a starting point, a tool for re-enactments or simple elements defining our character, standing for, and instead of, Frank! But that’s not all we could say about it. Actually we have a major problem in our until now perfectly balanced and delicately nuanced scheme. The fact is… he’s dead. Frank!, I mean. He is irrefutably dead, departed… gone forever… finito… kaput!

So, for the sake of precision, we can’t really state we have an action or an exhibition yet. We can’t because we haven’t got Frank! as such…Frank! as a walking-and-talking person doing things, thinking things. We don’t have it as a conscience or a consciousness yet. What we have instead is a constellation of elements building up a corpse, a cadaver, a dead body of some sort – like head and torso and arms and legs and fingernails – remains we decided to name Frank!… someone or something that, through our interpretation, might become my action, our exhibition, your story… all upside- down really… from bottom to top and in reverse. What we need is some sort of beginning though… a starting point, a way into the reconstruction of our character.

So now… let’s say: the audience enters the space to find the curtains already raised! Let’s agree on that. We need some sort of handhold, some sort of pretext. So this is it: you enter the space and the curtains are already raised. What else?


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Way Things Go - Part 3 - Frutta, Rome

Part 3
Neurath’s Boat
curated by Frances Loeffler
Opening 17 October 2012

Featuring works by Amit Charan, Jasper Coppes, Gabriele De Santis, Frank Heath and Francesco Pedraglio.

This exhibition takes the parable of the Ship of Theseus to reflect on the philosophical conundrum of whether an object, which has had all component parts replaced, can remain fundamentally the same. In the various versions of the parable, an object is gradually remade over a period of time. The constellation of the whole endures, while the individual fragments are replaced.

At a basic level, all things are constantly in transformation. Our bodies change continuously, turning over cells many
millions of times. In artistic terms, the parable raises questions about the nature and status of the art object.
What happens when objects do not behave as objects? When a finite form becomes a constellation with multiple starting points and destinations? While they retain their status as material forms, can objects also take on the qualities of immaterial processes, becoming fluid and transitive, like the activity of thinking, storytelling or conversation?

The artworks in this exhibition allude to or are in some way implicated in this question of material reconstitution, often balancing between movement and stasis, sameness and change. Forming part of a programme of sequential exhibitions, in which each curator responds to or develops their predecessor’s presentation, the exhibition itself is a revision, a plank replaced on the open sea.

Frances Loeffler

Via della Vetrina 9

00186 Roma

Monday, 8 October 2012


For Bringing the Dead to Life, six artists – Chad McCail, Francis McKee, Katrina Palmer, Francesco Pedraglio, Stephen Sutcliffe and Sarah Tripp – have been asked to similarly respond to our archive in the form of short readings or performances.
This event also marks the Edinburgh book launch for AGAIN, A TIME MACHINE: FROM DISTRIBUTION TO ARCHIVE, edited by Gavin Everall and Jane Rolo.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Strategies for Approaching Repeating Problems
 - 6 October - QUAD, Derby

David Raymond Conroy, I know that fantasies are full of lies, 2012

Emma Cocker & Rachel Lois Clapham, Fatima Hellberg, Gil Leung, Andrew McGettigan, Francesco Pedraglio, David Raymond Conroy, Alex Vasudevan

Forming part of Accidentally on Purpose curated by Candice Jacobs and Fay Nicolson and produced in collaboration with QUAD
6 October 2012, 11am – 5pm
The Box, QUAD, Market Place, Derby, DE1 3AS

Strategies for approaching repeating problems presents a series of performances, presentations and talks around the ideas explored in the Accidentally on Purpose exhibition at QUAD, connecting the exhibition to wider contemporary issues in cultural production and discourse.

From difficulties inherent in language and communication to the way artists and writers position themselves in relation to wider social issues, such as education and the public sphere, this event will identify an array of current or ever-present difficulties, discuss their perception from different positions and consider whether notions of progress or return are clichés or inevitable fates. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Stone of Folly - Down Stairs - opening 29th September

The Stone of Folly
Curated by William Cobbing

The exhibition The Stone of Folly references Arthur’s Stone, a Neolithic site in the Golden Valley, nearby Down Stairs, which has become the subject of local folklore and forgotten histories.
The site incorporates a broken glacial boulder resting on an ancient burial chamber, where King Arthur (Owd Artur) mythically slew a giant, leaving indentations of his elbows in the stone as he fell to the ground. Over the years, the morphology of the stone has changed due to it being quarried, with the rubble being used in local buildings. The term ‘stone of folly’ comes from a medieval allegory of madness and stupidity (akin to “rocks in the head”), referenced in Hieronymus Bosch’s painting ‘The Stone Operation’ (1488), in which a surgeon is depicted removing a stone-like lump from a patient’s head, accompanied by the inscription “Master, cut the stone out quickly / My name if Lubbert Das.”
For the Stone of Folly, curator William Cobbing has invited artists to contribute works that play with the overlapping notions of fantastical narrative and shifting materiality. The exhibition will engage with ideas of superstition, alchemy, folly, entropy and flux that derive from the disjointed historical accounts of the site, and, more broadly, how we ascribe meaning to found objects and places. The exhibition questions the essence of temporal materiality, through sculpture and installation, digital, performance and text-based forms. The rural location in the Golden Valley, by the Black Mountains, also provides the potential for site-based works.

Friday, 7 September 2012

The Object Lessons - book launch - abc—art berlin contemporary, 13—16 September 2012

Part 1 — The Object Lessons is an exhibition.

Part 2 — The Object Lessons is a story inspired by an exhibition, considered through three parallel accounts told in the first, second and third person.
Part 3 — The Object Lessons is an exhibition inspired by the narratives, characters and artworks featured in a short story.

For the occasion of abc—art berlin contemporary, 13—16 September 2012, Åbäke and Francesco Pedraglio will introduce the Object Lessons (Part 2) and present the new book with Nina Beier and Marie Lund published by MOUSSE.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Jerusalem - 17/19th August 2012

Taking the form of collective journeys, JERUSALEM is an ongoing project that commissions artists to make work informed by, housed within or seeking alliance with selected architectural sites across England. 

The first chapter of JERUSALEM takes place from 17 - 19th August, 2012. Participating artists are: DENNIS MCNULTYFRANCESCO PEDRAGLIO and CARA TOLMIE. JERUSALEM is organised by Claire Feeley and Ciara Moloney.

Dennis McNulty 
A performance at the University of East Anglia campus.

Francesco Pedraglio
A performance on objects and storytelling in five scenes in various venues in London, Norfolk and Kent.

Cara Tolmie 
A performance at Lenham Quarry, Kent.

Monday, 13 August 2012

“…an ordinary healthy romance, which is the old story (and other stories)” - performance at The Gardens - Vilnius

August 15th, 2012

Francesco Pedraglio 
“…an ordinary healthy romance, which is the old story (and other stories)”
Performance at The Gardens starts at 6.30pm

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Please try to make sense please - Francesco Pedraglio invited by Rosa - Gallerie Kamm, Berlin


Performance 24 July 2012, 7pm
Exhibition 25 July - 4 August 2012, 11am - 6pm
A scenario. Something as simple as this: three men in a room. An effortless plot, you might point out… not that imaginative either. And yet I don’t see any reason for dismissing the potentiality of such a story from the very beginning, why not give it a chance?
For instance, what if we start with this: three men in a room with two chairs facing each another. Clearly a step forward. A tiny step perhaps, petite even, and yet absolutely tangible. Then, from here onwards, a deluge of consequences! Well… if you can’t picture any, let me help you with that: two of the men now sit down, so that suddenly, we have a completely different scenario. We have two people in a room seated on chairs that face each other… and obviously we still have a third person too. A third man standing somewhere around there… possibly watching.
Now, the first man has a piece of paper in his left hand, the second a glass of wine. Or better: an until-now empty glass, resting a few inches from a bottle of wine. Also… let’s forget about the third person. Better that way. He is there in the room, yes, but I have very little more to tell you, so let’s just not think about him.

Arty Night - Centre D'Art Contemporain Geneve

Arty Night
Thursday July 12 at 730

An evening of screenings with Charlotte Moth, Annette Amberg and Francesco Pedraglio

Exchanges and collaborations are a key aspect of Charlotte Moth’s work. The five selected films, further illustrating this practice, share a formal language and a common interest for architecture.

- ANNETTE AMBERG, « Documentation », 2011 ; Courtesy de l'artiste
- MAN RAY, « Les mystères du château du dé », 1929 ; Distribution Cinédoc Paris Film Coop
- FRANCESCO PEDRAGLIO, « Theory of Budapest (or on the problem of not being there, or being there just about, or actually even just being... maybe... possibly) », 2012; avec Danae Bravi et Peter Fillingham, lu par Alex Ross ; Courtesy de l'artiste
- DEREK JARMAN, « The art of mirrors », 1973 ; Courtesy de James MacKay
- CHARLOTTE MOTH, « Study for a 16 mm film », 2011 ; Courtesy de l'artiste et Marcelle Alix, Paris

Monday, 2 July 2012


A man
in a room
spray-painting a fly
(or at least trying to)

A reading group by Francesco Pedraglio
in collaboration with Alex Ross
with special thanks to: Kate Cooper and Richard John Jones

Certain objects move towards abstraction. That's our thesis.
Actually, as long as we talk enough about them, all objects do. The process happens steadily, but the pace could vary. Even the trajectory might differ. And yet, the result is always the same: all the gathered attributes and conditions defining an object make up the object itself. They become an elliptical agglomeration of references that 'keep the thing together', so to speak, even when the thing itself isn't present anymore as such… I mean, it's not physically present. Even better: we reach a stage where the presence of the object isn't necessary anymore… we could talk just 'around the object', pointing at it through all the references, interpretations and examples we have been gathering.

Presenting the thesis through different SCENARIOS and opening it up to a collective discussion, this will be a reading group about and around the ideas of redefining events, voicing objects and observing their inescapable path towards abstraction.

We would like you to participate actively in the discussion. To do so – and considering the idiosyncratic nature of the reading group – please bring a prop of your choice, freely in response to

Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air…

always keeping in mind our proposed thesis that objects move towards abstraction and acknowledging the role narrative and storytelling play in this specific movement. It could be anything: from a physical object to a book, or a passage out of one, from a story to an image, a film or simply a word.

When: Saturday, 7 July, 7–9 pm
Where: Warner Yard, London EC1R 4TD [map]

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

One Hour Long Exhibition - 30th June, 8 - 9 pm at Shanaynay - Paris

One Hour Long Exhibition
with Chosil Kil, Marie Lund and Francesco Pedraglio
30th June, 8 - 9 pm at
76 Rue des Amandies
75020 Paris
M. Menilmontant

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Jochen Dehn with Francesco Pedraglio at Wide Open School, Hayward Gallery, 29 June

Jochen Dehn with Francesco Pedraglio
Abstract objects and the ship of Theseus
Friday 29 June, 5.30pm

For this session for Wide Open School, Jochen Dehn collaborates with artist and writer Francesco Pedraglio, whose work has involved suppositions, rumours and superstitions, invisibility and abstraction. When writing and performing, Pedraglio focuses on the practical and conceptual difficulties of storytelling, especially the problem of 'making sense' in English, a language that is not his own. In his short stories words take on a life beyond the printed page, becoming physical bodies in three-dimensional space.

Jochen Dehn's performances often consist of lessons, demonstrations, workshops or experiments, each of which is doomed to partial failure. In a recent series of performances, he reflected on sculpture's value and worth, focusing on five objects, including a hole in the ground and a lump of ashphalt, which he transformed into obstacles inside the gallery. And that was just the beginning of the story! In works such as these obstructions become abstract objects.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Auto Italia Live / Double Dip Concession / 9th June 7pm / ICA London

Book online
9th June 20127pm

Paul Becker, Nathan Budzinski, Benedict Drew, Robert Carter, Andrew Kerton, Leslie Kulesh, Huw Lemmy, o F F Love, Francesco Pedraglio, Lorenzo Tebano, Jess Weisner

Auto Italia LIVE: Double Dip Concession will take the audience through several scenes considering what the phrase ‘unwatchable TV’ might mean today, how objects and movements take on a new dimension in the televisual space and how magic and trickery can be exploited through framing and live editing. The title of this episode reflects the concerns for compromise and cooperation in the production of new collaborative work. However, throughout the episode this idea will be developed and culminate in a realisation expressed by the admission that “I’m sharper, more in focus”.
This project engages directly with contemporary broadcast culture as a space for new work and considers/challenges how physical communities use the Internet to distribute ideas. Reflecting on the opportunities this creates for artists, the episode will use the formal techniques of Live TV – its camera moves, soundtrack, catch phrases and live-editing – in order to create a new space and to raise questions as to what it means to be making Live TV now. It aims to be a proposal for how artists can produce live broadcast work in collaboration and act as a unique place for artists to create their collective context and distribute their work.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Saturday May 12th 
2pm  Opening
4pm  Performance by Francesco Pedraglio

Sunday May 13th
5pm  Performance by Eisklares Echo
(Reto Pulfer and Mia von Matt)

Tiergarten Eins, Altonaer Strasse 1, 10557 Berlin

Open 2-7pm with pastis and cheese

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Victor & Hester Journal 27 / 'One of each of everything' by Francesco Pedraglio



Victor & Hester / Journal 27 / 'One of each of everything' by Francesco Pedraglio / with contingent shelving from Direct Criteria

The Journal is a series of 7 posters that will be presented with a performance on Sunday 29 April 6-8pmPerformance at 7pm.
The Old Hairdressers, 27 Renfield Lane, Glasgow

An online version of the Journal will be sent via email to all that wish to receive it digitally.
The first page (above) will be followed by the other 6 that will be sent between Monday 30 April and Saturday 5 May as jpegs recto/verso
Please write us if interested

Francesco Pedraglio is an artist and writer based in London. He is co-founder of FormContent and runs the journal The Mock and other superstitions.

Direct Criteria are Fiona Connor, Scott Barry and Neil Doshi, a performance group currently based in L.A.

Victor & Hester will be launching two more journals over the next two Sundays -29  April to 6 May.Sunday 6 May / Basement Flat 42 Carlton Place / Journal 28 / T.O.U.C.H Emma Fitts and Hirofumi Suda / with an intervention from Direct Criteria

All with support from the Glasgow Visual Artists Award Scheme

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Parts and Labour - 1 - 26 May 2012 - Camberwell space

Parts & Labour’ is an experiment devised by John Chilver and Brighid Lowe to reflect on the material conditions of art production. The emphasis, as the title says, is on labour. Bearing in mind recent debates that have rightly underlined that both art and capital today value immaterial labour above getting hands dirty, this project examines relations to material labour that artworks remain dependent on, although these are typically concealed and devalued.

It will feature works authored by:
Leah Capaldi, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Charlie Jeffery, Gareth Jones, Francesco Pedraglio, Adrian Piper, Martina Schmuecker, Florian Slotawa, Sarah Staton and Richard Wentworth.

These artists were invited to provide instructions for works to be produced (in whatever sense they decide) in not more than 2 wo/man-hours by hired hands.
The artists are paid one hour at the UK minimum wage; the hired hands are paid 2 hours. Each work is thereby defined as the product of 3 hours’ labour paid at minimum wage: an hour for conception and 2 hours for execution.
The artists are provided with a common list of materials – defined by the curators – for which they determine operations or actions to be done. All the works are therefore produced within uniform constraints of materials and time.
Because this is a curatorial experiment and since none of the work exists at the time of writing, it’s impossible to anticipate how it will look, sound or feel. 

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Word of Mouth

Francesco Pedraglio, Things are going just fine..., London 2012

Holly Pester (9-11 March, live performance on Saturday 10 March, 2pm)
Ruth Barker (16-18 March, live performance on Saturday 17 March, 12pm - 6pm)
Stella Capes (23-25 March, video installation throughout the weekend)
Francesco Pedraglio (30 March-1 April, live on Friday 30 March, 8pm)
Siôn Parkinson (13-15 April, live performance TBC)

Curated by Rose Lejeune

Word of Mouth brings together five artists who use the voice as a medium to produce and deliver their work.

Featuring live and recorded performance, song, poetry, text, sound and noise, video, and installation, Word of Mouth uses the intimacy of Cartel to explore the voice as an instrument and organ:– a personal and bodily medium, a tool for transmission or a material with sculptural and physical manifestations.

Word of Mouth is an exhibition about speaking, communicating and the possibility of meaning, through the presentation of speech acts. It is also an investigation into vocal potentiality beyond language. The artists in Word of Mouth utilise their voice (or the voice of others) to engender agency, conjure memories or create tension between proximity and distance. For them the voice as a medium can question authorial authority, force a blur between speakers and auditors and operate both as a negotiator of meaning and a primordial raw material that can provoke and lull with alternate force.

Word of Mouth is a group exhibition delivered as a linear progression. The artist’s projects will be delivered as a series of solo presentations over the duration of the exhibition. For their project each artist has been invited to inhabit the space as they wish - through installation and performance – in order for the mode of presentation to best address the complexity of their concerns and their audience. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Apropos the Kissing of a Hand

Roman Signer, X Aktion, 2009, photograph. Courtesy: Hauser & Wirth
23 March – 28 April 2012 Preview: Thursday 22 March 5:30-7:30
Holly Antrum / Becky Beasley / Billy Childish / Robert Ellis / Catrin Huber / Sophie Macpherson / Jeremy Millar / Arnaud Moinet / Francesco Pedraglio / Roman Signer / Sylvia Vögel
‘Apropos the Kissing of a Hand’ forefronts the Festival Robert Walser. The exhibition at Vane consists of the work of eleven national and international artists who share a fascination with one of the major figures of modernist literature. Organised and curated by artist and writer Paul Becker and painter Catrin Huber.

The twentieth century Swiss writer Robert Walser (1878-1956) has had a huge influence on a long list of literary, artistic and philosophical figures, from Franz Kafka to Walter Benjamin, musicians such as Heinz Holliger, visual artists from Paul Klee to Mark Wallinger and Tacita Dean, and filmmakers including the Brothers Quay. Only translated into English comparatively recently, international interest in Walser’s work has generated a wealth of new art, writing and critical discussion, which continues to explore his unique legacy.
Walser worked as a bank clerk, a butler in a castle and an inventor’s assistant, at the same time producing several novels and more than a thousand stories and poems. In 1929 he checked himself into an asylum in Berne, Switzerland, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He remained in mental health institutions for nearly thirty years until his sudden death in 1956, whilst walking in a field of snow near the asylum. 

‘Apropos the Kissing of a Hand’ attempts to highlight Walser’s impact on a wide range of contemporary artists and, more particularly, seeks to present artists who attempt the complexities of referencing the influence and/or language of literature within their works.