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Cally Spooner

Cally Spooner was born in United Kingdom (1983), and now lives and works in Turin, Italy.

Rooted firmly in her training in philosophy, her practice is generated through writing and unfolds as installation, sculpture, drawing, film, sound and performance. These manifestations often incorporate duration, erosion, waiting, rehearsal and collapse as acts of resistance, aimed at exploring the difference between what is alive and what is dead in our present, techno-capitalist climate.

Spooner investigates the demand for bodies to perform and enact themselves as currency in a chrononormative regime, which transforms previously embodied knowledge into stagnated bodies, products of predictive behaviours, visual currency, and economic codes. In response, her work takes on the task of sustaining negotiations that are subjective, social, and ongoing. As Catherine Wood has stated in her book, Performance in Contemporary Art, this is Spooner’s unique understanding of performance: a call for the enabling of ‘that which lives’ as a state of restlessness; a refusal to settle.

Cally Spooner’s most recent solo shows include DEAD TIME, The Art Institute of Chicago, 2019; SWEAT SHAME ETC., Swiss Institute New York, 2018; Everything Might Spill, Castello Di Rivoli, Rivoli, 2018; DRAG DRAG SOLO, Contemporary Art Centre Geneva, Geneva, 2018; Soundtrack For A Troubled Time, Whitechapel Art Gallery, 2017; On False Tears and Outsourcing, New Museum, New York, 2016
On False Tears, her monograph, was published by Hatje Cantz and Edizione Madre in 2020. Her book Scripts (2016) is published by Slimvolume, and her novel Collapsing in Parts (2012) is published by Mousse Publishing.

Cally Spooner, project

Solo show
gb agency, Paris
From July 11 to July 31, 2020

Activity of Matter

Group show
gb agency, Paris
From November 30th 2019 to January 11th, 2020

Fiac 2019

Art Fair
Grand Palais, Paris
October 17 - 20, 2019

Art Basel 2019

Art Fair
Art Basel
12-16 June 2019

Cally Spooner, Sweat shame etc.

Solo exhibition
Swiss Institute Contemporary Art, New York

Cally Spooner, British Silver Failed

Centre National de la Dance
10-11 November 2018

Cally Spooner, Performance TV

MABA Maison d’Art Bernard Anthonioz, Nogent-sur-Marne
May 31th to July 22th 2018

Cally Spooner, DRAG DRAG SOLO

Solo exhibition
Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva
March 02 — April 18 2018

Cally Spooner: Speak at Serpentine

Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London
2 March 2017 to 21 May 2017

Time-lines, Independent Régence, Bruxelles

Group exhibition
Independent Régence, Brussels
From October 27 to December 17, 2016

Cally spooner, He wins everytime, on time, and under budget

Solo show
gb agency
October 15 to November 27, 2016

Independent New York 2016

Art Fair
March 3-6, 2016
Spring Studios, NY

Cally Spooner: Performance day

Group exhibition/performance
La Ferme du Buisson. Centre d’art contemporain
13 February 2016

Cally Spooner, And You Were Wonderful, On Stage

Solo show
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
16 Jan - 17 Apr 2016

Publications & Writings

Cally Spooner: On False Tears, edited by Andrea Villani, Roos Gortzak, Vanessa Boni, Hatje Cantz, Berlin
Cally Spooner: Scripts, edited by Andrew Hunt and Cally Spooner, with an introduction by Will Holder, Slimvolume
Conversation about a Glass Wall, interview with Dan Graham, On False Tears and Outsourcing, exhibition catalogue, New Museum, New York
On False Tears and Outsourcing, Cally Spooner and Hendrik Folkerts, exhibition catalogue, New Museum, New York
A not so sad September (Eco’s Open Work today.), essay, Flash Art International, Issue 308
On False Tears and Outsourcing, Peep Hole Sheet, Issue 28
Collapsing in Parts (excerpt), in Social Medium: Artists Writing, 2000-2015, edited by Jennifer Liese, Paper Monument
The New Elvis, essay, S1 Sheffield and Glasgow Sculpture Studios
Synopsis, text, The Grantchester Pottery paints the stage, exhibition catalogue, Jerwood Visual Arts, London
About a Work No2, published by YiWAB and ZERO…, Milan
Losing My Body To Time, score, Mousse Magazine, Mousse Publishing
Collapsing in Parts, novella, Mousse Publishing, Milan and International Project Space, Birmingham
Indirect Language (Act 1), An exhibition to hear read: Volume 4, radio play, Jeu de Paume
A Solo Event for Thinking (Version Two), E.R.O.S #3, EROS Publishing
The Erotics of Public Possibility, essay and poster distributed by post, International Project Space
Indirect Language (Act 8), An exhibition to hear read: Volume 3, radio play, David Roberts Art Foundation
Indirect Language (Act 5), FR DAVID: “Spin Cycle”, radio play, de appel arts centre
Indirect Language, An exhibition to hear read: Volume 1, radio play, Synagogue Du Delme
The Observer’s guide to the Serpentine Gallery Garden Marathon — Compiled in One Voice by Will Holder, Serpentine Garden, Marathon, Serpentine Gallery, London
Notes for a pending Performance, Session_12_Words +Untitled, Krabbesholm Højskole
Something Blue; A Curiosa of Contemporary Erotica, compiled by Neue Alte Bruecke (launch at Pilot, Landings, Oslo)
December 1952, catalogue, Chelsea Space

Press Articles (selection)

Focus on Europe, Droste Effect, Interview with Cally Spooner, by Marco Antelmi, March 28
Texte zur Kunst, Composition as Explanation, by Annie Godfrey Larmon, June (issue #110)
Mousse, DRAG DRAG SOLO, Cally Spooner and Ginevra Bria in conversation, April
Mousse, Post Performance Future, by Marie de Brugerolles, April
Le Temps, Cally Spooner, ou la prose décomposée, by Jill Gasparina, 15 March
Mousse, Staging Affect, by Sabrina Tarassof, #57, Feb-March
Art Review, Nah! Nah! Nah! Cally Spooner’s manufactured pop, Oliver Basciano, online, Oct
Kaleidoscope, Dance: Roundtable Discussion, with Charles Aubin and Maria Hassabi, #29, Spring
The Observer, A time-bending experience, review of Speak, Serpentine Gallery, by Laura Cumming, March
Mousse, Cally Spooner interviewed by Cecilia Alemani
Artforum Diary, Pacific Fiction, by Trinie Dalton, 12 Aug
Mousse, Cally Spooner interviewed by Stella Bottai, No 54, June
White Review, Cally Spooner interviewed by Alice Hattrick, No 16, April
Mousse, Double Exposure, Cally Spooner and Marguerite Humeau interviewed by Sam Thorne, No 53, April
Frieze, Reading Pictures, by Patrick Langely, issue 179, April
Metropolis M, Michael Portnoy & Cally Spooner: Twee Musicals, April
Purple Diary, On False Tears and Outsourcing, May
Frieze, Rag-Picking, by Kirsty Bell, 27 March
Frieze, Critic’s Guide: New York, by Orit Gat, 2 May
Art Review, Must See: Cally Spooner, Stedelijk Museum, by Martin Herbert, Jan-Feb
Mousse Blog, Book Club 2.0, ZERO…, Milan, 6 May
Art Forum, Top Ten, Cally Spooner, May
Art Forum, Critic’s Picks: Cally Spooner, De Vleeshal, Middelburg, by Amelia Groom, 30 July
Art Monthly, Cally Spooner: Post-production, Spike Island, Bristol, by Lizzie Lloyd, June
Atractivo Que No Bello, Cally Spooner and the Conflicted Self, by Jean Kay, 18 Aug
The Guardian, British Art Show 8 review — a long haul in art’s touring caravan, by Laura Cumming, 11 Oct
The Telegraph, British Art Show 8, Leeds, review: varied and entertaining by Mark Hudson, 9 Oct
This is tomorrow, Cally Spooner: Post-production, Spike Island, Bristol, by Rowan Lear, June
Contemporary Art Daily, Cally Spooner at Vleeshal, 28 Aug
Nippertown, FILM: On Screen/Sound No. 8 at EMPAC at RPI, Review by Jeff Nania, 2 Dec
The Fix Magazine, Must See Monday — Events of the Week, Cally Spooner at Spike Island, by Kevin McGough, 13 April
Frieze Magazine, Issue 163, Said & Done: Cally Spooner’s work explores how technology and new media are making performers of us all by Alice Butler, May
Phaidon’s Frieze interviews — Cally Spooner, 15 Oct
Exeunt Magazine, Review: And You Were Wonderful, On Stage, by Diana Damian Martin, 21 Jan
Female Arts, BMW Tate Live: Cally Spooner - performance review, by Katie Richardson, 23 Jan
Art Review, Previewed, Cally Spooner at gb agency, Paris, Sept
Because Magazine, Bright Young Things, 8 May
Artslant, London, Frieze on the cheap: Frieze Sounds, by Phoebe Stubbs
Life, language and London’s last Lunch Bytes, Review: The search-engine-isation of communication, by Jean Kay, 1 Dec
Metropolis M, Pool: the various features of our digitalized present, by Melissa Canbaz, 17 May
Frieze Magazine, Issue 152, Review, Cally Spooner, international Project Space, Birmingham, by Alice Butler, Jan-Feb
This is Tomorrow, Contemporary Art Magazine, Review: Performa 13: Cally Spooner: And You Were Wonderful, On Stage, by Binghao Wong, November
Art Review, Future Greats: curators’ choice, Cally Spooner, by Andrew Hunt, March
Art Monthly, Review, The Department of Wrong Answers, Wysing Arts Center, Cambridge, by Laura Allsop, May
Frieze Magazine, When Art Speaks: A Report from the Two-Day Performance Event I Proclaim, You Proclaim, We Proclaim, by Vivian Ziherl, November 14
The White Review, Pending Performance: Cally Spooner’s Live Production by Isabella Maidment
The Herald, Mark my words, trio stages exhibition that puts fresh spin on editing, by Jan Patience, September 20
Artforum, Cally Spooner, Collapsing in Parts, by James Eischen, 23 Dec
Mousse, Issue 30, Interview with Cally Spooner, by Michele Robecchi, Oct/Nov

Cally Spooner
On False Tears and Outsourcing, 2016


Contributions from Helga Christoffersen, Cally Spooner, Dan Graham and Hendrik Folkerts.

7 1/4” x 9 3/4”
117 pp
Color images throughout
ISBN 9781942607342
Editor Helga Christoffersen
Publisher New Museum, 2016

Cally Spooner
On False Tears and Outsourcing, Peep-Hole Sheet #28, 2016


Edition of 350
8 pages
broadsheet, 48 x 33 cm
ISBN 9788867492145

Cally Spooner
On False Tears and Outsourcing (the pop song!), 2016


With essays and contributions from Charles Aubin, Sabrina Tarasoff, Pete Waterman - pop music guru, Cally Spooner and Cally Spooner’s Lawyer.

Printed and bound on Riso 7150 ComColor printer
on October 2016 at Lafayette Anticipation – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris.

Cally Spooner
Scripts, 2016


A selection from Cally Spooner’s scripts edited by Andrew Hunt and Cally Spooner with an introduction by Will Holder

208 pages, 12 black and white illustrations
210mm x 150mm
ISBN: 978-1-910516-02-7

Cally Spooner
Collapsing in Parts, 2013


Published by Mousse and International Project Space
Andrew Bonacina, editor
Text by Cally Spooner

128 pages
Softcover, 11 x 18 cm
ISBN 97888867490745

From left: Magdalyn Segale, Ashton Muñiz and Melody Giron performing in Cally Spooner’s Dead Time, Art Institute of Chicago, 2019

Exhibition view, Cally Spooner: Dead Time, Art Institute of Chicago, 2019

Exhibition view - And you were wonderful, on stage, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2016

Installation view - Speak, Serpentine Galleries, London, 2017

Exhibition view - Cally Spooner: On False Tears and Outsourcing, New Museum, New York, 2016

Exhibition view - Cally Spooner: On False Tears and Outsourcing, New Museum, New York, 2016

Exhibition view - Regardless, it’s still her voice, gb agency, Paris, 2014

Exhibition view - Seven Thirty Till Eight, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 2013


MM12H, 2019
By all accounts this was a very ordinary man, 2018
Early Research Method #14, 2018
Early Research Method #16, 2018
MM14H, 2018
Murderous Public Drinking Fountain, 2018
# 1 (re-edited), 2017
Notes on Humiliation, 2017
Soundtrack for a troubled time, 2017
He wins everytime, on time and under-budget, 2016
Hot 97, 2016
On False Tears & Outsourcing - dancers responsible for delivering self-organized efforts to resolve difficult and time-consuming issues “go the distance” across multiple overlapping phases using appropriated competitive strategies and appropriated intimate gestures, 2016
On FalseTears & Outsourcing - Financiers are trained to produce tears, 2015
Damning Evidence Illicit Behaviour Seemingly Insurmountable Great Sadness Terminated In Any Manner, 2014
And As The Medieval Cloisters Connect Seamlessly With The Corridors of Power, I’m Quietly Confident... U Turn!, 2013
And You Were Wonderful, On Stage, 2013–2015
Due To The Weather, Due To The Delay, Due To No Soundcheck, I Did Not Feel Comfortable Taking The Risk, 2013
Losing My Body To Time, 2012
Seven Thirty Till Nine, 2012
Will Utility Cease, 2012