The Exhibition Centre for the Life and Use of Books
With Daniel Fogarty and Lauren Velvick (2014-2016)
Manchester Art Gallery/International Anthony Burgess Foundation/Islington Mill/Grundy Art Gallery/Ohio Kent State University Library/Fred’s Ale House
ECLUB began as an artist-led reading room hosting events and exhibitions in conjunction with our two library curators – Marcus Barnett and Michael Butterworth. For the first 3 months we worked with Marcus to host a series of events including a book launch from Esther Leslie at Islington Mill (Salford) and the performance of a Socialist Magician at Manchester Art Gallery.
For the second iteration of our program we collaborated with writer and publisher Michael Butterworth, founder of the controversial publishing label ‘Savoy’ in the 1970s. In 2014 we curated an exhibition with Michael at the Anthony Burgess Foundation. The Exhibition Centre for the Use and Abuse of Books featured rare publications from Butterworth’s early career (New Worlds, Corridor) alongside his most recent art and writing journal Corridor8.
Featuring text, images and rare promotional content from Savoy’s infamous 1989 publication ‘Lord Horror’, the exhibition attempted to tackle the question of whether the depiction and description of horrific acts is justified in satire. In conjunction with the exhibition we commissioned seven short films from artists and collectives in response to the seven Corridor zines, published between 1971 and 1976. In 2015 the exhibition went on tour to the Kent State University Library in Ohio, USA.
Myself, Daniel and Lauren responded to various invitations from other institutions and online platforms by adapting the format of our ‘reading room’. In 2015 we were invited to take part in the exhibition Modern Histories Vol. 1, curated by Lynda Morris. Myself and Lauren collaborated to produce screen printed textile designs inspired by the original interior of the Savoy office. Our co-authored text for the Modern Histories catalogue brought together separate strands of our research – a museum specimen of a Surinam toad and science fiction set design from the 1970s.
For the final incarnation of ECLUB’s public program, Lauren Velvick curated an evening of performances from Onion Widow and WE (Pil and Galia Kollectiv).