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Five Years at Area 53
Jo Addison - Paul Buck - Michael Curran - Michelle Deignan - Edward Dorrian - Rochelle Fry - Mathew Hale & Alexander Haßenpflug - Beth Harland - Marc Hulson - Dean Kenning - Cedar Lewisohn - Louisa Minkin - Sally Morfill - Susan Morris - Esther Planas - Claudia Plank & Hans Werner Poschauko - Paul Sakoilsky - Alex Schady - Francis Summers - Alice Walton - Emma Wolf Deraze
Five Years is a London based artists' association. Its locus is a small gallery space in which the group’s 13 members alternate personal projects with guest curated exhibitions and events, contributing freely and autonomously to the programme: it develops according to a sort of structured anarchy, beyond the control of any unified directorship, and free from censure through commitee.
The exhibition at Area 53 includes contributions by 23 artists and writers. The participants were invited to respond to a text by Marc Hulson titled Free Association.
The term refers both to creative or psychoanalytic processes and to ideas of non-hierarchically structured organisation or community. Vienna could claim to be the birthplace of the former, while Five Years aspires to the latter.
A further, related, theme is 'the couch' as an iconic object or archetypical idea. There is an odd but compelling relationship for example between the Factory couch and the Psychoanalytic couch. Both are sites where the enunciation of the self is played out in relation to an impassive observer / interlocutor: with Warhol through self-image in relation to the camera; in Psychoanalysis through speech in relation to the analyst. The couch signifies as a space for reverie and drifting self-reflection. It also presents itself, along with its occupants, as a sort of artistic readymade. It represents a space in which stories are told or enacted and connections made or, equally, as a site of passive immersion - in images and information - and hence of self-obliteration.