18 January – 19 February 2017

BALTIC 39 | FIGURE FOUR is the fourth iteration of the open
submission exhibition which offers a platform for artists to test works
and ideas, or to develop works in progress within a public context


Week One

18 – 22 January 2017

Laura Lancaster and Rachel Lancaster

Both artists take up residence in the gallery for five days, the first time they have collaborated fully. They seek to generate a series of temporary interventions which explore the crossover between their respective artistic practices, with a focus on their mutual interest in the slippage of meaning when found imagery is manipulated. Laura’s investigations are based upon the projection of gathered source imagery, while Rachel employs her own archive of source material based on the moving image. Using a projector as a tool for drawing, they manipulate the reading of projected images through drawing and distortions with reference to analogue special effects techniques.


On Thursday 19 January 2017 Rachel will play a live musical response to the imagery projected in the gallery, exploring her interest in the ways sound can relate to the painterly and the cinematic.

Hollie Miller and Sam Williams
there was an idea of equality

In its initial (rather utopian) sense, there was an idea of equality and democracy at the heart of

Collaboration—but can this truly be the case? Miller & Williams present an open access work-in-progress exhibition of performance, video and notation that asks the central question: how can the psychology of decision-making be observed and challenged as it unfolds during a live performance involving camera-body and performative-body. The project intends to interrogate the roles and languages of cooperation and competition in the making of collaborative video and choreographic work within a live context. Throughout the week, the artists open up a series of live performance experiments to examine the shifts of control within the interplay of camera and body, including the dynamics between the operators of both as choreographic bodies themselves.

BALTIC 39 I FIGURE FOUR. First image: Laura Lancaster and Rachel Lancaster. Second Image: Hollie Miller and Sam Williams. Installation views, BALTIC 39, Newcastle Photo: Colin Davison © 2017 BALTIC

Week Two

25 – 29 January 2017

Golden Family

Matt Golden and Natsue Ikeda (Golden Family) frame their discourse primarily in social contexts, including role-play as a nomadic musician, publishing images in international style magazines, or commissioning portraits from fashion photographers. Most projects begin with a journey into the unfamiliar; it is from this point of unfamiliarity that Golden Family begins a creative process of re-orientation. In 2008 they embarked on a project, now coming to fruition, centred on the ‘spiritual’ journey of fictional musician; Juan Carlode. Golden Family documented Carlode often in remote parts of the world and his chronicles have been serialised as standalone images in contemporary style magazines Wonderland and Rollacoaster. Golden Family will present existing images alongside a new work, The Rehearsal, a simple construction housing a music practice-room where the works of Juan Carlode are rehearsed. By positioning a private act of rehearsing into a public domain The Rehearsal considers different notions of personal and public space, of reality and fiction, real-life and character.

Kati Karki
Colourless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously

Kati Karki brings together five writers to occupy the gallery space daily to explore collective ways of writing publicly. They begin with a Noam Chomsky sentence ‘Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously’. Grammatically correct yet holding no obvious understandable meaning, the sentence sends them on a journey to follow a methodology of paradox and test ideas between sense and nonsense. With a focus on the excess that is produced from misunderstanding, they aim to explore the strengths of the ‘non’ or the ‘mis’ in sense-making and collectiveness.

BALTIC 39 I FIGURE FOUR. First image: Golden Family. Second Image: Kati Karki. Installation views, BALTIC 39, Newcastle Photo: Colin Davison © 2017 BALTIC

Week Three

1 – 5 February 2017

Lauren Gault and Sarah Rose

Lauren Gault is interested in how matter and objects may be inhabited by a process, presence or environment and Sarah Rose currently works to debunk ideas of ancestry and connection to reproduction, family, lineage and origins. This collaborative exhibition comprises a new installation of objects that hold a live materiality; sound, lighting and print. Gault and Rose are interested in how material production and duration might interrogate and reform new relations between their practices and ideas.


Nicola Singh

Nicola Singh works across performance, object and text – making work in response to context of location and place, encounter and dialogue(s), feelings and chance.

For FIGURE FOUR she will develop work produced as part of her practice-led PhD into the performative operation of text. Nicola produced a series of public performances that tested language against the voice and against its contextual surroundings, experimenting with the ways in which language can be heard, visualised and choreographed. This work will be reimagined as Nicola brings together elements from her research into one new performance that will feature photography, risograph printmaking, wax sculptures and ceramics. Elements of this work will be made collectively as part a public workshop.

BALTIC 39 I FIGURE FOUR. First image: Lauren Gault and Sarah Rose. Second Image: Nicola Singh. Installation views, BALTIC 39, Newcastle Photo: Colin Davison © 2017 BALTIC

Week four

8 – 12 February 2017

Back in 5 Minutes Squad
Higher Scores, Brighter Futures. Together we are individuals. Data makes us free

Back in 5 Minutes Squad imagine possible futures. They take a tongue-in-cheek look at the post-apocalyptic, the nihilistic, the existential and the revolutionary through the lens of film, video games, power ballads and other forms of popular culture. The artist group describe their ongoing work as “another of yesterday’s futures and all of our tomorrows; nothing exists outside of the spectacle. Money is obsolete, public investment is an urban myth; everything is crowd-funded and data is king. The economy is founded on the #Verilikon Credit System, represented by a thumbs up, tick and dolphin icon, embodying the values of #Listening #Sharing #Inspiring #Becoming.”

Jamie Harper
Washing Machine       

Washing Machine is a live action role-play (LARP) about what we want our lives to have been about by the time we reach the age of 70. Will our sense of self-worth be measured by our ongoing commitment to youthful ideals, or will we judge ourselves according to the criteria of middle-aged comfort or rose-tinted old age? What part of ourselves do we want to embrace, and which combination of our various selves will make us happy, in the end?

BALTIC 39 I FIGURE FOUR. First image: Back in 5 Minutes Squad. Second Image: Jamie Harper. Installation views, BALTIC 39, Newcastle Photo: Colin Davison © 2017 BALTIC

Week Five

15 – 19 February 2017

Jacob Dwyer and Mike Pratt

Curiosities and queries about the artists’ practice that arose during a show the duo completed for Amsterdam Art Weekend 2015 will be explored in this exhibition. Dwyer and Pratt intend to use BALTIC 39 as a stage on which to push their conflicting vocabularies in a process that aims to free both works and roles of the artist from their familiar realms. Dwyer’s new film DAT LIKWID LAND will be transplanted from the cinema, into a gallery space designed and filled by Pratt and conceived in the first instance without collaboration. Both set and film will then come together with simultaneous activity and cyclical duration, creating an installation that examines the encounter with the works both in an ‘on’ and ‘off’ state.

Visnja Sretenovic
Schlag die Sorgen mit der Feier!

During the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s a new music genre and party culture, named turbo-folk, emerged. The rhythm is catchy and the eroticised bodies of female singers sparkle and glisten. Its provocative celebration among arms and piles of money dominated the media space while Serbia was not only financially and politically troubled, but also facing a deep identity crisis.  Beat the worries by partying! explores the visual, musical and lyrical aspects of the turbo-folk scene. A confusing mix of sexism and violence, patriarchal values and eroticism, MTV aesthetics and Orthodox tradition, which preaches nationalism and stages the Balkan soul as suffering and passionate. Is it a political propaganda tool, a numbing medicament, a survival strategy, or a disturbing combination?