Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Associate Professor in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, Cocker's research enquiry focuses on the process of artistic endeavour, alongside models of (art) practice and subjectivity that resist the pressure of a single, stable position by remaining wilfully unresolved. Her mode of working unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches to producing texts parallel to and as art practice. Cocker's recent writing has been published in Failure, 2010; Stillness in a Mobile World, 2010; Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought, 2011; Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art, 2012; Reading/Feeling (Affect), 2013; On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and as a solo collection entitled The Yes of the No, 2016.

Writing: Still Square to the Round Hole

I will be visiting Spike Island in November with the view to writing something about the forthcoming exhibition, Tea Back, by Łódź based artist Cezary Bodzianowski. I hope that the encounter will enable me to revisit and develop some of the concerns developed within my recent texts, Over and Over, Again and Again, (where a specifically Sisyphean model of absurdity was explored); The Yes of the No! which explored affirmative forms of dissension and refusal (such as over-enthusiasm and play) and writing developed in collaboration with Open City within whose work everyday actions are often repeated, inverted, reversed in order to reveal the presence of habitual social expectations, conventions and protocol.


Cezary Bodzianowski: Tea Back
Saturday 22 October - Sunday 27 November

Spike Island presents the first UK solo show by Łódź based artist Cezary Bodzianowski. Initially trained as a sculptor in both his native Poland and at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Bodzianowski has increasingly turned his practice to the creation of absurdist interventions into everyday settings. Such actions include camouflaging himself as foliage while standing beneath a tree or positioning himself, legs in the air, in the empty space below a staircase. In his 2010 essay 'O Lucky Man', art critic Jan Verwoert describes these studiedly deadpan performances as ‘characterised by a certain conspicuous inconspicuousness’, bringing to mind the era of silent comedy with their permanently out of place everyman hero. These actions result in photographs or short videos, mostly taken by his wife and artistic collaborator Monika Chojnicka. At the invitation of Spike Island, Bodzianowski and Chojnicka undertake a short residency during October 2011, responding to the sites and spaces of Bristol, including Spike Island’s own history as a former tea packing factory.

Cezary Bodzianowski, Step by Step (2010). Photo: Monika Chojnicka