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BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art to Open Four New Exhibitions in September
Beat Streuli, Elite Runners, South Shields 07', 2008. Courtesy of the artist and the Great North Run Cultural Programme.

GATESHEAD.- BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is delighted to announce four new exhibitions opening to the public on Wednesday 10 September 2008.

Following Steve McQueen’s award-winning first feature film, Hunger and his nomination to represent Britain at the 53rd Venice Biennale next year, the artist will present two works at BALTIC: Pursuit, 2005 and Running Thunder, 2007.

The ground floor gallery space will be transformed with new works by Glasgow based artist David Shrigley including sculpture and animation.

The North East’s premier sport event The Great North Run takes place annually in October. The Great North Run Cultural Programme celebrates newly commissioned work that responds to the world’s largest half-marathon. This is the second year BALTIC has participated in the programme and will show work inspired by the race and it’s participants by Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard and Beat Streuli.


Run for me

Great North Run Cultural Programme

The Street

Wednesday 10 September – Sunday 26 October 2008

For BALTIC, the duo has created a new, filmed portrait of the Great North Run, Run for me, embodying the spirit of the event by looking at the emotions and stories that surround it. They have created a portrait of the real people and emotions that make up the event. Aiming to embody what participating in the event means to the runners, the work explores the larger themes of how we choose to shape ourselves, test ourselves, achieve our hopes and most importantly, how we then communicate that to others. Forsyth and Pollard filmed participants in the 2007 Great North Run in the week prior to the event, edited to create a single screen work approximately an hour long. The work is a dynamic collage of talking heads, with a new narrative composition weaved together from the hundreds stories.


Elite Runners, South Shields 07, 2008

Great North Run Cultural Programme

The Street

Wednesday 10 September – Sunday 26 October 2008

Also at BALTIC as part of the Great North Run Cultural Programme, is the photographer and film-maker Beat Streuli. His work documents the mundane, transient, pedestrian activity of urban life through photography and film. Having exhibited across the world, including at the 1998 Sydney Biennial and the 1997 Johannesburg Biennial, as well as solo shows at Tate as part of the Art: Now series and at Palais do Tokyo, this will be the first time that Streuli’s work has been created and exhibited in the North East.

Beat visited the 2007 BUPA Great North Run weekend to create portraits of runners and spectators at the event. Capturing people in their natural state, often unawares, he used a long lens camera to create uncontrived images, free from artifice. As well as capturing these unique images of the public, his work for the Cultural Programme is also a response to the more usual and well publicised photos taken at the event, which are often staged with specially selected photogenic or quirky subjects.

Additional work by Beat Streuli will be shown at The Sage Gateshead.


Wednesday 10 September – Sunday 9 November 2008

Ground Floor

David Shrigley is perhaps best known for his intuitive drawings that are typically dead-pan in their humour. His cartoon-like sketches are deliberately dysfunctional and deal with everyday doubts and fears of the human condition. Throughout the work a nonsensical and anarchic voice is ever present. With hand-written, unedited texts or assigned titles altering the perspective, the results range from poignant to absurd.

In sculpture, Shrigley plays with the physical form creating curious and eccentric propositions by transforming everyday objects or playing with scale. The exhibition at BALTIC will include new sculptural works which continue this theme. Recent works have included stuffed animals and doors, as well as tents and sleeping bags filled with expanding foam that grows uncontrollably, allowing the artist little influence over the final form.

In addition to an extensive international exhibition profile, Shrigley’s work has become widely known through appearances in newspapers, including since 2005, a weekly contribution to The Guardian. His animation has also gained a broad appeal through commissions such as ‘Who I Am And What I Want’ for Channel 4 and a promotional video for Brit pop band Blur’s ‘Good Song’.


Wednesday 10 September – 23 November 2008

Level 3

Steve McQueen will present 2 recent works; Pursuit, 2005 and Running Thunder, 2007. Together, these works will transform BALTIC’s Level 3 gallery with a dynamic sense of movement with both an aural and visual experience for the viewer.

Pursuit, 2005 was commissioned specifically for the Prada Foundation, Milan. It is a combination of architecture and video installation, as the surrounding walls of the gallery are covered with a highly reflective material. This mirrored material encompasses the projected video in the middle of the gallery space; reflecting the image around the room. The video becomes part of the space and is transformed into a visual and aural kaleidoscope.

Running Thunder, 2007 presents a 16mm film, which is a resolute departure in mood and scope from his other recent works, including Pursuit, 2005. Running Thunder presents the audience with a seemingly static image of a dead horse. McQueen challenges conventions of the film genre, through extreme economy of means and lightness of touch. The only movement can be seen through the slight movement of the grass and flowers in the wind; reminding us of the stillness of the horse – facing us with our own mortality.

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