Coupling: David Blamey & Lau Nau

Coupling: David Blamey & Lau Nau




11:50 – 11:50


clear sky

Open on Library hours:
Wed 12–6pm
And by appointment

Coupling is an expanding series of curatorial projects, collaborations, or artist pairings, where two artists/ practitioners are introduced to one another for the first time and show together because of some common concerns within their work.

In this second edition, Finnish artist and musician Lau Nau (Laura Naukkarinen) couples with London-based artist and publisher David Blamey, both responding to the invitation by taking time to share with each other around their practices, culminating in two new bodies of work relating to the walls, floors, sights and sounds within and around PUBLICS space and to elsewhere. Each artist taking account of the everyday publicness of their materials, where the properties, modalities and interstitialities of the interlude, the pause, the quiet gaps offer the premise for both their works and their co-mingling.

David Blamey’s Substrates is a selection of collages made from small painted objects displayed on PUBLICS walls next to a scattered floor installation made up of permutations of specific colour schemes. Blamey’s Substrates are composed of various commercially produced plywood stretcher wedges, both painted and in their natural colour before being arranged into a grid. Each tableau is rationalised as a chromatic reference to a particular place at a specific time; a hotel in Tiruvannamalai, an autumn street in Lambeth, a garden in the south of France, or a bank under a bridge on the river Thames at low tide. The intention is to organize the components so as to capture the dynamic moment of seeing them for the first time. There is a combination of unsettled visual elements combining discord and harmony, order and disarray.

To make art from canvas stretchers, or from the materials of paint-making follows a conceptual trope extending back to artists preoccupied with how these basic support structures are ‘carriers’ of the conventional substance of art: Lucio Fontana’s slashed canvases, Lygia Clark’s expanded paintings, Imi Knoebel’s misappropriated stretcher bars, Richard Tuttle’s dyed canvasses and so on. Here, the wider ‘substrate’ of this body of work is a conceptual reveal, an exposing of the preparatory methods, protocols and production techniques underpinning the act of making art.

Work by Lau Nau is a spatial sound piece examining the relative closeness of work and play. Just as a child practices by playing, it is never solely about the learning of life skills: it is about joy and discovery. With some vanishing moments a creative work is a captivating play of associations.

Work is made for a reel-to-reel tape player and a motion sensor player. It’s a combination of analogue and digital techniques. The tape loop plays the sounds of a modular Buchla 200 synthesizer that has patched together in a creative play. The motion sensor player activates when detecting movement, filling the space with various sounds: of someone building the frames for the exhibition, whistling, playing with water drops. Sonic traces connect these activities with the listener to other geographies, sites, and times and with the immediate surrounding of PUBLICS library shelves.

Tue 05 Apr 2022 – 27 Apr 2022 Closed today


clear sky

Sturenkatu 37-41 4b
00550 Helsinki