There is no heroism; there is only duty and revolutionary passion, of which one should no more make a virtue than one should make one of love.
We never talked about men or clothes.It was always Marx, Lenin and revolution—real girls’ talk.
I am an artist and writer working
in London and France. Reader in Fine
Art at Sheffield Hallam University,
I am also a Research Associate of the Centre for Freudian Analysis
and Research, London. I have exhibited widely
in Europe and North America. Publications include A
Case of Hysteria,
Book Works, London, 1999. Filigrane Editions, France, published a small
book on my work Le bonheur des femmes, a work that began
in the perfume departments of the grands magasins of Paris, where
I retreated after walking the streets in pursuit of Marx and
Freud, in the shadow of Lacan, and this is still a work that haunts me. My practice is one of stupid refinement,
trapped in archives, libraries, the arcades, and the intersection of
public political action and private subjectivity.
I am following Sigmund Freud on holiday, and I have dreamt of Rome, been melancholy in Trieste, and had a disturbance of memory in Athens, which can be traced in Freud on Holiday. Volume I. Freud Dreams of Rome (information as material 2006) and Freud on Holiday. Volume II. A Disturbance of Memory (information as material, York, with CUBEARTEDITIONS, Athens, 2007). I have forgotten my shoes on the steps of the Freud Museum, London, and I thought of witty and amusing remarks too late on the stairs of the Freud Museum, Vienna, and these events are recounted in L'esprit d'escalier and An Agent of the Estate
(information as material, 2007 and 2008).Forbes Morlock and I worked on Freud and the Gift of Flowers in 2009 (information as material, once again). The small book Afterwards, although published by Warwick Arts Centre (2009) may be considered to be part of the same series. Recently I have started a new series of modest booklets in which I recount railway-related scenes and incidents in the works of Freud, under the title Reisen. A third holiday book,entitled The Forgetting of a Proper Name, in which neither Freud nor I quite manage to get away from it all, was published by CUBEARTEDITIONS and information as material in 2012. Volume IV, part I, A Cavernous Defile, was published by CUBEARTEDITIONS in 2013, and therein are a number of walks, an excursion in the mountains, mushrooms, and two Lucias, alive and dead. This book was translated into Italin by Silvia Bre in 2016, and published as Freud in vacanza by the Museo storico del Trentino. These books are the subkect of an essay by Elizabeth Legge in The Art Journal, June 2015, entitled 'Not getting there is half the fun: Holidays with Freud'.
I was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, where I was happily translating the Freudian canon, with particular attention to typefaces and the three essays on sexuality, from 2007 to 2011. In early 2008 I exhibited at Sleeper, Edinburgh, for which I worked hard on my embroidery and my worst traits,and at Feriancova Contemporary/ Bastart, Bratislava, where I took Rousseau to task on natural education.In November of the same year I exhibited a new series of works at CHELSEA Space, which insisted on a relation between fashion and revolutionary moments in the history of France.There are more works in this series, some of which were shown in Pont-Aven in October/November 2009, including a stuffed vixen holding the PUF edition of Marx's Capital in her jaws. I had solo shows at Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer, Düsseldorf (2009), AMT_Project, Bratislava (2010), DomoBaal, London (2011, 2013), and the Ideas Store, London (2011-12), in which I exhibited works that drew on my collections. FRAC Bretagne has acquired several works for its collection, as has Penguin Books, God bless them. I curated an exhibition for the Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, entitled 'Afterwards' in 2009 – a book of the same name accompanies it.
I was working on some rather amateur water colours, copying old postcards from memory, which gave me great pleasure, despite their talentless inadequacy, but these have come to an end. I re-photographed the smoke of steam trains, the flat, limpid waters of mountain lakes, and the snow on Alpine peaks (some of these were shown at Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer in 2009, some at DOMOBAAL and at at AMT_Project in 2011). Somewhat to my surprise, these turned into three very short films, which were screened in New York and St Petersburg in autumn 2011. Painstakingly I sketched women modelling lingerie (and copied quite beautifully their textual descriptions), while thinking of nothing. I was painting women's faces, but have had enough of this (some were shown at AMT_Project and some in my exhibition at DOMOBAAL in 2011), so am back to lingerie, silk, and perversion (same old, same old). With a sanguine Conté pencil on papier de soie I drew the passionate descriptions of silk given to Dr Clérambault by his kleptomaniac patients, each pencil breaking after a few words.
I paid my son an enormous amount of money to fill old school exercises books with handwritten lines (as though it were a cruel punishment), which are the indexical references to mother/son relations in Freud's works, and these were exhibited at the Freud Museum in 'Les paris sont ouverts' in the summer of 2011. The work is entitled Mon Fils, after the son who feels he has been exploited.
In 2011 I
noted the weather of Freud's holidays, the meals (good and bad) he ate while
on holiday, and the train times of his journeys – the
two former are now appendices in the series Freud on
the last is the second book in the Reisen series.In 2013 I added
two new appendices to the series Freud on Holiday – Freud's Hotels and Freud's Shopping (also exquisitely designed by James Brook).
In 2012 and part of 2013 I eliminated horizons on old postcards of various sea views, having also spoilt many postcards of Rome in my attempt to turn them into negatives in the work The unconscious is a city. Sometimes I draw bridles, bits, stirrups, saddles, and dressage movements, while thinking of 'Little Hans'. I continue to rewrite Zola's novel Nana, from a number of positions, most recently as descriptions as though by Nana (I call this work Nana. Ghostwriter, soon, in French, it will be Nana. Négre), according to furniture and soft furnishings, according to odour, and as a small booklet observing/describing, from memory, Nana's dance, danced by Anna Karina, in the film Vivre sa vie, by Jean-Luc Godard. Some of these may be read in Crux Desperationes, edited by Riccardo Boglione, a journal of conceptual writing also to be found on Ubuweb.
In 2012 I had a solo exhibition at Galerie des petits carreaux, Paris, for which I assembled a rather odious display of feminity(for some people, at least, though others may feel quite differently, as did Bernard Géniès, writing in the Nouvel Observateur, in a review in which he was kind enough to assign me two stars).
In 2013 I embellished a large number of rather grubby vintage collars of crochet, lace, cotton, with etiquettes declaring that 'je suis une petite charmeuse' (and I am, sometimes), and associated these with some adorable stuffed squirrels. These were on exhibition in 'Ulysses, l'autre mer' at the Musée de la Compagnie des Indes in Lorient, acting as sirens as much as colonial pillagers.
In January 2013 I had a small solo exhibition at DOMOBAAL, London, entitled Reproductions II, which echoed a previous show there. It was accompanied by two lovely essays by Steve Pile and Jan Campbell, available as a small publication, and on the closing day, Sarah Sparkes hosted a séance, with the presence of Birgitta Hosea, Peter Suchin, and Forbes Morlock (who kindly stepped in to channel Sarah Wood at the last minute). With aplomb, Nick Thurston presented the two new appendices to the series Freud on Holiday– Freud's Hotels and Freud's Shopping. The gallery launched a new subscription series, with the gift of the small yet elegant booklet Femme du monde/Women of the World for early subscribers.
In November 2013 I had a solo show at Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer, entitled Folles de leur corps, after a footnote in Marx's Capital, which became rather more than a footnote in 2014 at CGP, London, as Folles de leur corps / Crazy about their bodies.
This body of work has developed into The Natural Forms (Natürliche Formen), as three exhibitions to date in Cottbus, Berlin, and Leipzig, in various formations, tableaux vivants or morts, in 2015 to 2016. I am currently working towards an exhibition for l'Espace d'art Contemporain HEC in Jouy-en-Josas in autumn 2017, entitled Entreprise de séduction, and curating an exhibition in collaboration with FRAC Bretagne, Armel Beaufils: Le Regard des femmes, with forty artists. My solo exhibition, Le Modèle, opens in May in the context of Festivart, St-Briac. New books, Reading Nana and A Lover's Discourse may be seen on the publications page here.
Do see also the website of Documents d'Artistes Bretagne, which has a very nice dossier on my work in English and French.
There is an interview in NOUVELLES de l'ESTAMPE, Revue du Comitié national de la gravure française, Centre National du Livre, Paris, 2015
Sharon Kivland, ‘Le temps logiques’, by Véronique Gorzccynski
25 mai – 6 juin 2017
Dans le cadre de Rendez-vous à Saint-Briac, le Frac Bretagne présente Le Modèle, une exposition personnelle de Sharon Kivland.
Sharon Kivland est une artiste qui collectionne, une glaneuse en quête d’une imagerie féminine que l’on pourrait qualifier de populaire. En croisant images (gravures de revues anciennes, cartes postales, illustrations et photographies issues de magazines féminins) et textes de l’époque, sous le double éclairage du vêtement et de la littérature, l’artiste dessine une image de la femme entre stéréotype et émancipation. L’exposition Le Modèle présentée dans l’ancien Presbytère de Saint-Briac constitue comme une introduction à l’exposition d’été Armel-Beaufils, le regard des femmes qui sera présentée du 1er juillet au 3 septembre 2017, et dont Sharon Kivland sera la commissaire.
A new book:
READING NANA. An experimental novel
140 mm x 205 mm, 104 pages, perfect-bound
Emile Zola's novel Nana is re-read and re-written,ghost-written, condensed according to soft furnishings, lighting effects (including metaphor), other women, death and dying, cats, anti-semitism, money, smell, and many other categories.
DECORATIVE DORMITORIES FOR DREAM WORKERS
xero, kline & coma, 258 Hackney Road, London E2
House of Hysteria presents works of Ami Clarke, Annabel Frearson, Dale Holmes, Michael Iveson, Tina Jenkins (HOH’s resident Hysteria), Sharon Kivland, Mark Nader (HOH’s glue and 'Of'), Mer Maggie Roberts and Nicola Woodham
Sharon Kivland’s vinyl LP To Dream by the Book will be playing throughout the exhibition on a vintage Marconiphone. A hundred readers recorded the stuff of dreams – those with a spatial quality (though perhaps this is true of the structure of all dreams) – from Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud points out, comparing dream-content (what is represented) with dream-thought (which instigates the dream, turning the text of the unconscious into a play), that content and its account is ‘brief, meagre, and laconic’ in relation to the complexity and richness of the dream-thought. The dramatisation of the dream is reported, a second edition of an earlier text, but the dream is something new, in which an old wish makes its return.
A radio broadcast by psychoanalyst and poet Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson about Freud on Holiday: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/775630?programid=503
THE NATURAL FORMS. PART III. THE TRACTS. READERS AND LISEUSES. MADEMOISELLE LA MARCHANDISE. & OTHER WORKS
27.04.16 to 2.05.16, HGB, Leipzig Academy of Arts , Germany
The Natural Forms. Part II. The Readers. The Foxes. The Tracts. Some Coquetteries
11.12.2015 to 30.01.2016
Galerie Nord / Kunstverein Tiergarten, Turmstrasse 75, 10551 Berlin
With an opening event: itinerant interlude #1867, Anna Clementi
Natürliche Formen – Von Frauen,Füchsen und Lesern
Ausstellung: 03.10.– 15.11.2015
Das dkw. Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus wird als Teil
der Brandenburgischen Kulturstiftung Cottbus durch das
Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur des Landes
Brandenburg und die Stadt Cottbus gefördert.
dkw. Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus
Uferstraße / Am Amtsteich 15
www.museum-dkw.de / firstname.lastname@example.org
Öffnungszeiten: Di—So 10—18 Uhr
Toile de Jouy, regards contemporains, an exhibition commemorating the death of Oberkampf and the manufacture of toile de Jouy, l’Espace de l’art contemporain HEC, Jouy-en-Josas, 11 May to October 2015
In the work entitled Pastorale, the wall is painted a pale pink, and a series of small figures are painted directly onto the surface. These figures are drawn from the figures in the Arcadian scenes of toiles de Jouy.The charming lives played out across the weave of the cloth conceal the method of production of the cloth. As Marx writes: 'Political economy conceals the estrangement in the nature of labour by ignoring the direct relationship between the worker (labour) and production'.My paintings separate the couples, eliminating the men while reproducing the figures of women, cut from their context (clearly, il n’y pas de rapport sexuel). A second work, entitled Nous deux, a lorgnette, which opens with a nifty snap mechanism, its lenses engraved with the words nous deux, one word on each lens, in a glacé kid box, its lid embossed with the words nous deux and lined with an antique toile de Jouy, is presented in a small vitrine.
Recent publications (see PUBLICATIONS for more information):
The straplines of a number of advertisements drawn from magazines of the 1950s are turned into drawings, as though a particularly vain and narcissist woman speaks (as of course she does), She is ‘en pleine forme’ of her beauty.
EN TOUTE INTIMITÉ, 2016
It is a story of theft, of the kleptomania that is the crime of capital. Of desire invented and institutionalised. Of dizzying circulation. Of ‘apéritifs du crime’. Of hysterical causality. Of women crazy about their body. Of ‘wanton’ women. Of mad women. Of labour, of the means of production. MARCHANDISE.
ENFANTS, tome I, 2016
ENFANTS, tome II, 2016
ENFANTS, tome III, 2016
LES PETITES FILLES MODÈLES, 2016
LE REGNE DU BÉBÉ, 2016
The above are in a series collecting and reframing found images that cast a rather unsavoury, indeed, sinister, gaze on a representation of childhood.
FOOTNOTES TO CAPITAL. VOLUME I
A series that will run to thirty-three volumes, one for each chapter of Capital, as I continue to reproduce the footnotes therein. Each book has an attractive dust-jacket in Financial Times pink, and contains a tipped-in photograph of nicely-shod women's feet as a frontispiece. Each is printed in an edition of 30, signed and numbered, 130 x 197 mm, one tipped-in duo-tone photographic plate, from 16 to 48 pages.
Chapter 5: Contradictions in the General Formula, 2016
Chapter 6: The Sale and Purchase of Labour Power, 2016
Lalangue is a report of language without words, where words are replaced by images, and mouths are blocked. To be a body is to be woven from language. The body of the speaking being is imprisoned and determined by the signifiers of maternal speech.
FOLLES DE LEUR CORPS /CRAZY ABOUT THEIR BODIES
A 96-page book, designed by James Brook and published by CGP London in association with Ma Bibliothèque, with short texts and essays written in in response to Kivland's textual descriptions of works: PASCAL BEAUSSE, ALISON J. CARR, VINCENT DACHY, RACHEL GARFIELD, CHRIS GIBSON, CATHERINE GRANT, JOHAN F. HARTLE, RALF F. HARTMANN, FRANCIS HASELDEN, JAMES HELLINGS, JEAN-MARC HUITOREL, JASPAR JOSEPH-LESTER, ESTHER LESLIE, JULIET FLOWER MacCANNELL, FORBES MORLOCK, DANY NOBUS, SANJA PEROVIC, JOHN W. P. PHILLIPS, STEVE PILE, STEFAN SZCZELKUN, JOSHUA SIMON, LINDA STUPART, JOHN TIMBERLAKE, SARAH WOOD
The manner of masculine dress, according to the style and taste of the era, of its time and place, reflects society and imposes codes of comportment. It is, as Baudelaire argues, as much a matter of gesture and manners and looks (how the costume is carried, shall we say) as that of mere dress design. Messieurs, it must be taken seriously, considered with attention and attention to detail, for clothes make the man and these men are masters.
An illustrated article in MAN, the fourth issue of E.R.O.S.
FREUD ON HOLIDAY. Volume IV, A Cavernous Defile. Part I
Cube Art Editions, Athens, December 2013
With Lucia Farinati, and a foreword by Forbes Morlock
Designed by Christos Lialios
Softback, perfect-bound, with dust jacket
144 pages, black and white illustrations and photographs
ALL BOOKS MAY BE ORDERED FROM SK/PUBLICATIONS, ANAGRAM BOOKS (BERLIN & LONDON), OR THE PUBLISHER ON REQUEST
Recent exhibitions and projects include:
Femmes folles de leur corps
A solo exhibition at Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer, Düsseldorf, opening Friday 22 November, 23 November 2013 to 18 January 2014
In a footnote in Capital, chapter 2: The Process of Exchange, Marx writes:
'In the twelfth century [...], very delicate things often appear among these commodities. Thus a French poet [Guillot de Paris] of the period enumerates among the commodities to be found in the fair of Lendit, alongside clothing, shoes, leather, implements of cultivation, skins, etc., also " femmes folles de leur corps".' The English translator translates this as 'wanton women'; I would rather translate it as 'women crazy about their body'.
The Nabokov Paper
An experiment in novel-reading
A PROJECT BY Kate Briggs and Lucrezia Russo
information as material
WITH WORKS BY
Graham Allen, James Arnett, Abraham Asfaw, Anne Attali, Katarzyna Bazarnik, Derek Beaulieu, Paul Becker, Christian Bök, Shanna Bosley, Stephen Bury, Chloe Briggs, Kate Briggs, Maurice Carlin, Jennifer Carr, Guillaume Constantin, Jamie Crewe, Véronique Devoldère, Lucia della Paolera, Craig Dworkin, Zenon Fajfer, Helen Frank, Céline Guyot, John Hamilton, Sharon Kivland, Gianni Lavacchini, Anna-Louise Milne, Forbes Morlock, Simon Morris, Amy Pettifer, Lucrezia Russo, Olivia Sautreuil, Nick Thurston, Jane Topping, Madeleine Walton, Patrick Wildgust, Robert Williams and Jack Aylward-Williams, Sarah Wood, Gillian Wylde.
October 26 – November 22, 2013
Shandy Hall, Coxwold, York, North Yorkshire, UK
Modern Interiors, with Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Five Years, London, October 2013
The work Elle s’installe [she installs) is from a series of ten ink and watercolour drawings, with accompanying descriptions in vibrant orange vinyl lettering. The images are drawn from a French encyclopaedia of décor, a mine of enchanting ideas and a source of practical advice for the contemporary home of the 1960s (an epoch of social and political change, n’est pas, madame?), demonstrating the ways to achieve the style and ambience one desires. What could be more delicious? One dreams, one smiles; dreams become reality as a pair of Louis XVI armchairs are matched with the still fresh curtains of one’s mother-in-law. I concentrate on the salons, classical or refined, gay or modern, producing an ambiance that is youthful, spontaneous, or joyful, with a special touch of gaiety about the armchairs. The drawings are made on a paper from Ruscombe Mill in Bordeaux, a replica of the paper used by J. M. W. Turner for his watercolours made on his travels through France, Italy, Germany, and Belgium. He is a master, of course, and here I have added a mistress. The shade of this paper allows the artist to be more adventurous than is possible with a plain white sheet. The texts are literal translation of their French originals. It is clear that one may mix the old and the modern, in art as much as in interior design, bringing together apparently disparate elements that nonetheless retain a harmonious style, a refined and elegant atmosphere. Yes, I am sure my viewers loved to see these works and enjoyed learning these things that add to their natural flair.
‘Ulysses, l'autre mer’
Celebrating 30 years of FRAC Bretagne, France, curated by Marcel Dinahet, Catherine Elkar, and Jean–Marc Huitorel at three venues:
Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Saint–Brieuc, Brittany, France
17.05.13 – 25.08.13
Musée de compagnie des Indes, Lorient, Brittany, France
08.06.13 – 23.09.13
FRAC, Rennes, Brittany, France
17.05.13 – 25.08.13
DOMOBAAL, 3 John Street, London WC1N 2ES
18.01.13 – 16.02.13
Ma Nana (encore), autres filles et quelques petits explosions
Galerie des petits carreaux, 43 rue des Petits Carreaux, 75002 Paris
17.11.12 – 5.01.13
'elles@pompidou, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, June 2009 to June 2010, curated by Camille Morineau.