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“It was the book talking.”
Independently, Maria Chevska and Simon Morley have long worked with words and books within their art. Their love of words and reading translates into their visual art works that take the form of paintings, sculptures, and installations. They are interested in the relationship between reading and seeing, the visual and the verbal, writing and gesture, historical narrative and contemporary culture.
For their collaborative installation at MOCA they made a conceptual and visual link between MOCA’s art library, which is a dominant internal feature of the Project Space, and the Peckham Public Library. The artists installed vinyl letter phrases about reading at the Peckham Library and on the glass front of the MOCA space. Their installation inside the Project Space included sound, video, painting, text and MOCA’s own library of books in which the pair inserted many artifacts. Reading Room dealt with the utopian legacy embodied by the ideal of the library as a carrier of revolutionary potential, and the library as a site for seizing hold of memories as they flash up within texts.
In conjunction with Peckham Library’s Literacy Festival Chevska and Morley presented an afternoon of readings by visual artists on the theme of REVOLUTION. Neil Brown, Rebecca Fortnum, Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski, David Medala, Klaus Wehner, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Silvia Ziranek read and performed.
Reading Room was supported by the Andrew Mummery Gallery and Southwark Council. A publication is available.