press release

When we invited Gustav Metzger to select EAST in October 2004 we had no idea that EAST 05 would coincide with Bob Geldof’s Live 8 and the march to the G8 Summit at Gleneagles. Yet it not only coincides but is also intellectually part of the same mass movement for change. This is the 15th EASTinternational at Norwich Gallery and Norwich School of Art and Design. The largest open-submission exhibition in the country, it has consistently attracted internationally significant artists and has acted as a pointer to the future. EAST has built a reputation for revealing what is to come: Turner Prize artists Jeremy Deller, Tomoko Takahashi and Martin Creed exhibited in the 1990’s and selectors have included Richard Long, Lawrence Weiner, Neo Rauch and Helen Chadwick.

This year’s exhibition began with the idea of resistance. It includes artists with political agendas critical of existing structures, whose work is concerned with resistance to war, the manipulation of truth, climate change and bio-technology, which do not easily fit the object-based priorities of commercial art galleries and collectors.

Gustav Metzger, a greatly respected artist who has never been afraid of political actions and creating challenging art (he is perhaps best known for his Destruction in Art Symposium in 1966) was chosen as the Selector for this year’s EAST and has in turn chosen twenty six artists and artists’ groups for EAST 05. They come from Europe, Asia, America and the Middle East and they make work connecting the extreme realities that affect us all: Wars, Holocaust, Politicians, Explosion, Detention, Manifestos, Torture, Greed, Aging and Deprived Youth. Using video installations, performance, live web broadcasts, blogs, email and other electronic media, EAST 05 will function on a twenty-four hour basis, challenging not just our preconceptions of what an art exhibition should be, but also our attitudes and reactions to the issues that their work confronts and the impact new technologies make on our lives.

Lynda Morris, curator of Norwich Gallery says, “EAST has always been about showing physical objects – painting, sculpture and video – but this year Gustav Metzger has talked about the ‘art exhibition without any art.’ Its’ that idea of an overload of information that is happening because of the web. Artists are now beginning to feel their way into channels and networks of internal communication.

Artists working as individuals are able to do things before they become formalised in institutions and I think that’s what Metzger is tapping into with this exhibition. It’s about exploring new forms of communication and also shows the way in which exhibits can be an interactive concept instead of a physical presence in a gallery.

This year for the first time there will be a series of live performances from three of the artists for the duration of EAST during our Live Saturdays, with Dan Tombs, Radio Goya and Mark Wilsher. In addition to this we have two residencies: Cat Picton Phillips and Peter Kennard, Professor of Photography at the Royal College of Art, will be in residence for the entire seven weeks of the exhibition, making art in their War on War Room at the Gallery; and Gustav Metzger will be at EAST to talk to visitors on 22-23 July and 19-20 August. There will also be a series of actions from Radio Goya on their Continental Breakfast Tour in the final week of the exhibition.

For further information keep logging on to the website which will be updated daily with all the latest work of the selected EAST artists and live streaming as well as news and events from EAST 05, including guided tours of the exhibition by artists and curators, and animation workshops with NSAD students.

EAST is part of CAN 05, Contempoary Art Norwich supported by Arts Council England, East and Norwich City Council

East International 05
selector Gustav Metzger

mit Alec Finlay, Jill Miller, Peter Kennard & Cat Picton Phillipps, Asnat Austerlitz, John Kelly, Riichi Yamaguchi, Bernard Debaillie, Kaori Nakayama, Sarah Pickering, Bryan Parsons, Corinna Till, Eddie Farrell, Gil Pasternak, Graham Hayward, Lee Holden, Simon Faithfull, Carrie Levy, Making Things Better , Simon Morris, Dan Tombs, Mark Wilsher, tenantspin & Alan Dunn, Daniel Bell, Melissa Bliss, The People Speak , David Burrows & Simon O´Sullivan, Michael Takeo Magruder, Wolfgang Fiel, Doug Fishbone, Mustafa Hulusi & JJ Charlesworth