the Agency

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Igor Grubic, Action, detail, norn curates for agency @ the Agency, 2010
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Installation View, norn curates for agency @ the Agency, 2010
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Performance Still , Microperformance curates for agency @ the Agency, 2010
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Performance Still , Microperformance curates for agency @ the Agency, 2010
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The Pigeonwing curates for agency @ the Agency, 2010
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Installation View, The Pigeonwing curates for agency @ the Agency, 2010
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agency@The Agency

Norn, The Pigeonwing
and Microperformance
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agency @the Agency is an exhibition of collaborative curatorial and critical practice. The Agency gallery will be given over as a pop-up space to norn projects , the Pigeon Wing and microPerformance , artists, curators and collective art initiatives, which have established identities in their own right. agency is an exhibition of collaborative curatorial and critical practice as collective, as gallery, as event, as writing, performed.

Agency /structure is one of the significant dichotomies of sociological research. In structurism (Gibbons) agency and structure are viewed as equal and interdependent. If that is so the need of the institution or commercially defined entity is to bring agency back into their structure. agency will bring new directions, open up possibilities and not give answers, just action.

norn projects presents Igor Grubic at The Agency, 366 liberation rituals are the outcome of Croatian artist Igor Grubic 's resolution to fight against his own lassitude and by extension that of the society he lives in. Taking as a starting point the fortieth anniversary of the protests happenings of 1968 Grubic decided to dedicate one whole year intensely to art. His project comprises a series of micro - political actions and interventions that fuse a shamanistic approach to art with guerilla activity and civil disobedience. In his actions Grubic abandons the privileged world of fine art and returns to the street, giving himself up to the uncertainty of the reactions of others.
 
For 366 liberation rituals , Grubic consciously adopts the role of the yurodivy , the fool or prophet who rejects social norms in order to reveal society's ills. The rituals function as a group of oppositional signals, linked in their attempt to provoke and confront the social, political and artistic passivity of late capitalism. Armed with a faith in the transformative and ameliorative potential of art, Grubic addresses the fate of the working class in his country since the fall of socialism. He believes in the possibility of spiritual revolution and the human need to improve the world around us. Grubic is convinced that creativity breaks down boundaries, nurtures empathy and liberates to create a happier society.

Grubic adapts hate-filled fascist graffiti slogans to give them positive meanings, sticks post-it notes with agitational messages onto tram stops. He places red five-pointed stars on Christmas trees discarded after the holidays, nostalgically invoking the iconography of socialism. He incites us to resist the epidemic of greed on banknotes released into circulation and or drapes banners with political-poetic dictums around public monuments. 

norn are London-based curators Ali MacGilp and Cassandra Needham.

microPerformance , organised by Rebecca Birch with   Adrian Lee, Laura Wilson, Lee Campbell, Adam de la Cour and Ladies of the Press*, Laura Mugridge and Sophie Micheal uses an intimate format, with performances lasting no more than 7 minutes, and devised for a maximum audience of three.  microPerformance skirts the borders between the performative and social encounter, often taking place outside of traditional performance and exhibiting spaces.  Performers and speakers are invited from across a range of disciplines in response to each particular situation. micro-performance events have taken place at Milton Keynes Gallery and West Dean College, and will be at The Whitechapel Art Gallery in June 2010. microPerformance is commissioning a series of new performances devised specifically for the Agency, to take place during the private view and on the 30 th of April at the gallery coinciding with Deptford Last Fridays. 

microPerformance is developed and curated by Rebecca Birch. 

The Pigeon Wing presents 2009 Retrospective as an open discourse investigating differences and similarities between the project space and the gallery.   Within a literal reincarnation of shows held at The Pigeon Wing in 2009, agency presents a new platform for the artists involved to re-visit their motives and re-enact their works, to fit within the walls of The Agency. Artists will include Joanne Smithers, Tim Adams, Alastair T. Willey, Amy Hye Jung Shin, Gareth Lloyd, Frederick Fuller, Harriet Piper, Isobel Shirley, Katy Keefe, Nikos Mantzios, Theo Turpin, Xavier Jimenez, Scott Cowen, Matthew Verdon, JL Murtaugh, Paul Cowen, Annabel Tilley, Francesca Ricci and Jack Bishop.

Following an interest in the action of showing an exhibition within an exhibition and the self-reflective nature of this situation, The Pigeon Wing will work continually within the durational period of the show. Developments and alterations will be forthcoming throughout, in reaction to the meetings and discussions that occur in the space. The Pigeon Wing hosts an annual series of exhibitions, curated by both invited and house curators. We also deliver sequential events from progressive projects as well as singular events including film screenings, talks, performances and critiques. Pioneering for the recognition of artists whose merit lies within the procurement and successful development of new ground, The Pigeon Wing provides a facility for the discussion and implementation of emerging art.

The Pigeon Wing are Sarah Jury and Alastair T.Willey.