Apparent Positions Beatrice Gibson: Agatha

Beatrice Gibson’s latest film Agatha is a psychosexual sci-fi about a planet without speech. Based on a dream of the radical British composer Cornelius Cardew, its narrator, ambiguous in gender and function, weaves us slowly through a mental and physical landscape, observing and chronicling a space beyond words. Without language to describe it, the space itself is unavoidably altered, and the film invites an appraisal of the relationship between word and land; between the physical and conceptual, the signified and signifier: once it is named, it is.

HD Video, colour, sound, 14’ (2012)

Apparent Positions

This installation is the second of four in the series Apparent Positions, a series of installations by contemporary artists who work with the moving image. Based around the notion of transfigured space, the four shows – separate, yet in dialogue with one another – comprise work which deals with spaces imagined, implicated, even compromised.

Complicating and subverting the construct of landscape and the Romantic tradition, the films summon the notion of the plurality of place, of a meta-landscape; and beyond that, of the active site, loaded, both defining and defined by interaction with its occupants and would-be occupiers.

Curated by Adam Pugh for the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts . With work by Aglaia Konrad (20 October – 11 November), Beatrice Gibson (17 November – 9 December), Cyprien Gaillard (15 December – 13 January) and Marine Hugonnier (19 January – 10 February).

Download the exhibition guide Download the exhibition guide here (PDF), or read the accompanying essay here


About the artist

Beatrice Gibson (b.1978) is an artist and filmmaker based in London. Investigating the utterances that form people and place, Gibson’s practice explores voice, speech, collective production and the problems of their representation. Employing the score as a paradigm for their production, Gibson’s film scripts are developed through open-ended compositional structures that are, to varying degrees, given over to a collective apparatus. Subsequent material is then edited into a form of notation to be restaged. The resulting films, meticulous and formal portraits of existing landscapes and the voices that inhabit them, work to complicate the notion of the document.

Gibson’s film A Necessary Music (2009), made in collaboration with the composer Alex Waterman, won the Tiger Award for best short at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2009. Recent solo screenings, exhibitions and performances include Anthology Film Archives, New York; Kunstverein Amsterdam; Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart; the Serpentine Gallery and The Showroom, London. Gibson was a studio artist in residence at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s ISP, during 2007/8, and since 2006 has been a PhD student in the department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths. Agatha runs concurrently with an exhibition of her project The Tiger’s Mind at The Showroom, London co-commissioned by The Showroom; Pavilion, Leeds; and CAC Bretigny. Gibson’s films are distributed by LUX, London and Argos, Belgium.