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Cally Spooner - Fifty Billion Hectares of Time

Solo exhibition
gb agency, Paris
May 29 - July 17, 2021


Fifty Billion Hectares of Time is Cally Spooner’s third solo exhibition with gb agency. Effectively an anatomy study for the twenty-first century, the show examines a technical and temporal performance climate, in which it is increasingly difficult to tell the difference between what is alive, and what is dead.

Exhibition view with:

DEAD TIME (Maggie’s Solo), 2021
Single channel 4K cinema projection with mono sound, and adjacent single channel Fohhn
Media Scale-2 loudspeaker, speaker stand, amplifier, mono sound
(16:9) cinematic ratio (2.39)
43 mins, 58 seconds
Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Credits:
A constellation of choreographic sequences by Cally Spooner
choreographed into a solo by Cally Spooner with Magdalyn Segale
In preparation for DEAD TIME (Maggie’s Solo), 2021, a live performance commissioned by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA
Scored by Cally Spooner
Danced by Magdalyn Segale
Cinematography by Charles Billot
Sound editing and mixing by Tom Sedgwick
Part of an ongoing conversation with Hendrik Folkerts
Special thanks to Gloria de Risi
Special thanks to Bobby Davidson

Still Life, 2018 Fresh pears, assistant, continuously, edition of 3 + 2 AP
Photo A. Mole

Exhibition view Fifty Billion Hectares of Time, gb agency, Paris.
Photo A. Mole

DEAD TIME (Maggie’s Solo), 2021
Photo A. Mole

(Right) Partridge, hare, fish and mollusc appear intact… with their breath… Snuffed. Out, 2021, pencil and ink on technical paper, plastic, 3 elements, unique.
(Left) Fifty Billion Hectares of Time, 2021, paper, laserjet print, acrylic, plastic, unique, 1 element

Instructions for Dancing Still Life on a Single Breath II, 2021, Laserjet print, marker, watercolour and pen on paper, pencil and ink on technical paper, plastic, 9 elements, unique

Exhibition view with DEAD TIME (Maggie’s Solo), 2021, single channel 4K cinema projection with mono sound, and adjacent single channel Fohhn
Media Scale-2 loudspeaker, speaker stand, amplifier, mono sound, (16:9) cinematic ratio (2.39), 43 mins, 58 seconds, edition of 3 + 2 AP
Photo A. Mole

Exhibition view with DEAD TIME (Maggie’s Solo), 2021, single channel 4K cinema projection with mono sound, and adjacent single channel Fohhn
Media Scale-2 loudspeaker, speaker stand, amplifier, mono sound, (16:9) cinematic ratio (2.39), 43 mins, 58 seconds, edition of 3 + 2 AP
Photo A. Mole

Exhibition view with DEAD TIME (Maggie’s Solo), 2021, single channel 4K cinema projection with mono sound, and adjacent single channel Fohhn
Media Scale-2 loudspeaker, speaker stand, amplifier, mono sound, (16:9) cinematic ratio (2.39), 43 mins, 58 seconds, edition of 3 + 2 AP
Photo A. Mole

At the center of Fifty Billion Hectares of Time is a film. Shot in a single first take it captures a choreography for a dancer and a cinematographer suspended in a state of heightened activity and waiting. A violent beep, marking the passing of time, replaces the sound of their breathless and exerted bodies. An unmanned audio recording taken from a radio microphone worn by the dancer fills the space, disjointed from the image. Captured sonic detritus from New York City’s airwaves, and interference from radio waves surrounding the location of the shoot, shape and carve out an acoustic imprint of the dancer and cinematographer’s bodies. On plinths, fresh pears avert their own mortality and decay. Meticulously arranged, rearranged then replenished, they never fall apart. A score, instructions on how to dance a still life in the space of a single breath, is presented in plastic sleeves mounted to the walls. Elsewhere, another pear, this one painted, has fainted.
Staged through technical, literary and metaphorical proxies, the exhibition presents the twenty-first century human body as being both vital and corpse-like. Equally, it asks how the same body may evade capture, circulation and compression by recasting itself as a preparatory, durational reality.

Firmly grounded in philosophical training, Spooner’s work is generated through writing, unfolds as performance and arrives as installation, sculpture, drawing, film and sound. Considering the effects of performance on the contemporary condition, her work responds by incorporating duration and rehearsal as modes of resistance to corporate, digital and performative climates. Born in 1983 in the UK, Spooner is based between Turin (IT)  and London (UK).

Fifty Billion Hectares of Time includes dancing by Magdalyn Segale; cinematography by Charles Billot; sound editing and mixing by Tom Sedgwick and a special thank you to Laura Mclean-Ferris, for her writing on still life that underpins all.