press release

opening Saturday 14 July

EAST 07 is the seventeenth annual show and the first of the biennial EAST exhibitions as part of Contemporary Art Norwich. The exhibition this year is selected by artist and curator Matthew Higgs and artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz and will show the work of 27 artists from Europe, North America and Britain who will look at themes and myths of urban history in painting, sculpture and film. EAST 07 also includes four offsite projects EASTwork. EAST17, A book on all the EAST exhibitions since 1991, will be published alongside the EAST 07 catalogue

Matthew Higgs is an artist, critic and curator. He lives in New York and is the Director of White Columns. He previously taught and curated at CCA in San Francisco and was a director of exhibitions at the ICA in London. He taught at the Royal College of Art in the late 1990s. He exhibited in EAST 1994.

Marc Camille Chaimowicz is a multi disciplinary artist who is represented by Cabinet London and Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch Berlin. He showed with Nigel Greenwood in the 1970s. Recent installations at Norwich Gallery, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Triennial Tate Britain and Migros Museum Zurich have been praised. He is a reader at Reading University and a consultant at l'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Dijon.

EAST exhibitions are capable of defining the arrival of a new generation of artists with new attitudes towards making art. EAST’s democratic structure, with no rules of exclusion, allows artists to tell us what is going on. The selectors’ choice reflects what they learn from looking at more than 11,000 slides of artists work from more than 30 countries. The EASTdiscourse held between the selection and the exhibition opening, brings all the artists together so they have the same information as the selectors and the curator.

We have spent the last 17 years building the trust of artists in the fairness and non-exploitative values of EAST. We have had to overcome criticism of open shows and find ways to attract the best artists to go in for EAST. In this we have been helped by a magnificent list of selectors many of who are artists. EAST has reinvigorated the idea of open submission exhibitions in Britain. The trust of artists in the democratic structure of an open exhibition has enabled EAST to become an annual challenge to the expertise of the Contemporary Art Establishment. Not a bad achievement for a small art school gallery in a provincial city.

The artists of today have been nurtured on Post-Modern Theory. As a result history, even art history, is now re emerging. The idea of the artist as a moral force is reappearing, whether musician, filmmaker or painter. Only the artists’ idea of moral choice always challenges accepted morality. Democratic values expressed simply and directly in the work of artists today, have replaced the sophisticated confusion of a decade ago. As always changes in an era appear first in the work of individual artists. What does that tell us about the times we are living through?

This EAST suggests we are entering a period where history and documentary are replacing art as fiction. In Eckermann’s Conversations with Goethe we find the idea that: “All eras in a state of decline and dissolution are subjective; on the other hand all progressive eras have an objective tendency.”

EAST International 2007
Kurator: Lynda Morris
Selectors: Matthew Higgs, Marc Camille Chaimowicz

mit Alexandre Singh, Andrew Cranston, Arni Haraldsson, Benoit Plateus, Clunie Reid, David Hepher, Eleanor Moreton, Hertzsch & Page, French / Mottershead, Jeffrey Dennis, Jonathan Furmanski, Josh Blackwell, Josh Shaddock, Juan Bolivar, Karin Ruggaber, Lars Laumann, Lolly Batty, Luke Fowler, Matthew Smith, Melanie Carvalho, Nadia Wallis, Patricia Esquivias, Ron Tran, Rose Wylie, Sara MacKillop, Steven Dowson, Tasha Amini