‘When another human being approaches and you are face to face … you are under an obligation to respond … so that she or he might be heard’ – philosophers Jean-Luc Nancy and Ann Smock
This autumn sees the launch of a major new commission by Mikhail Karikis that explores the relationship between listening and care. Karikis’ new moving image installation has developed with Project Art Works, an artist-led organisation in Hastings that collaborates with people with complex support needs. Focusing on interactions between carers and non-verbal people who use Project Art Works’ studio spaces, Karikis invites us to pay attention to the sensitive tuning-in of support workers, artists and family members to those they support – a precarious role that is often invisible, misunderstood and undervalued by society.
Over the course of a year, Karikis spent time with different groups of people in Project Art Works’ studios. He was drawn to the intimate relationships between caregivers and those they support, noticing the subtlety and difference in each person’s non-verbal language, how it is paid attention to, heard and interpreted. The resulting installation comprises a series of video portraits of caregivers, captured in the acts of alert listening to and communicating with those they care for, accompanied by the non-verbal vocalisations caregivers hear and their responses to them.
“At a crucial moment in history marked by persistent deadlock in political negotiations, divisive ideological discourse and growing differences of opinion over common purpose and future in the UK and in Europe, observing caregivers working with non-verbal people, so that they may be heard, serves as a gateway to a generous and inclusive way of thinking about relating to others. It is a hopeful affirmation that, no matter how difficult the circumstances are, communication is possible.”
Kate Adams (artist and Director of Project Art Works) writes:
“Through his sensitive interactions with us in the studio, Mikhail quickly recognised the expansive nature of non-verbal communication where the ‘inconspicuous signifiers’ of those who do not use language to communicate can be picked up and responded to by those who support them.”
This new work continues Karikis’ long-standing interest in non-verbal communication as a political agent that can transmit the experience of existence on the margins of society. He is also concerned with invisible and marginalised forms of labour, and those who are made vulnerable by capitalist society.
Mikhail Karikis’ project is commissioned as part of Project Art Works’ EXPLORERS – a three-year programme of awareness raising and encounter workshops, conversations, productions, commissions, exhibitions and seminars in collaboration with people who have complex needs and those who support them.
Taking place against a backdrop of increased hardship and intolerance toward disabled people, the aim is to develop positive relationships between cultural organisations and the social care sector and to reposition people who have complex needs at the forefront of mainstream culture.
The programme led by Project Art Works will take place at partner galleries across the country with Autograph, Fabrica, De La Warr Pavilion, MK Gallery, National Institute for Experimental Arts UNSW, Photoworks and Tate Liverpool.
Project Art Works is an artist-led organisation that makes and promotes art as a means of connection with and for people with complex needs. They collaborate with neurodiverse communities, galleries, health and social care agencies to promote inclusion in civic and cultural life.
The EXPLORERS project is supported by the Arts Council Ambition for Excellence Programme and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Mikhail Karikis’ exhibition is kindly supported by the RTR Foundation.
- By Rail
Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
Town Taxis: 01424 211 511
Parkhurst Taxis: 01424 733 456
- By Car
If driving from the London area:
Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
From the Brighton area:
Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free. There is also lmiited free car parking along the seafront.
Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.
Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.
Please contact the Box Office on 01424 229 111 to arrange a visit.
Facilities for disabled visitors
- Ramped access at the front of the building
- A low counter at the Box Office and Information Desk
- Disabled toilets on two floors
- A lift to all floors
- Accessible galleries on both floors
- An accessible Café
- Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
- Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
- Ramped access into the Studio
- Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.
Facilities for blind or visually-impaired
- Large print season brochures
Facilities for the hard-of-hearing
- An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
- British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.