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Slow Violence
Reuben Henry & Karin Kihlberg

A landscape of urban regeneration recedes from view as a blackout blind drops, submerging the room in darkness and temporarily separating its inhabitants from the city. A manifesto begins, describing the continuous construction of the metropolis as ‘slow violence’ – seductive in its scale and oppressive in its intent. The manifesto’s delivery is aided by a slide projector, which at first punctuates the presentation with titles and supporting statements but increasingly submits its own agenda in a bid to control those present. A feed of slides show the hoardings that surround construction sites, concealing its industry with vistas of future inhabitants in a utopian ecstasy. These lifestyle advetisments are mixed with didactic statements and the images of death and illness on the cigarette packets that litter the city streets.

The manifesto, while describing the violence of the city, also offers obtuse defense mechanisms for living there, methods of carving out liminal spaces within the physicality of the city; while simultaneously the slide projector and the film itself seem to act out these same methods. The manifesto’s audience are left to present evidence of their free agency, in denial that they are not even living in a city, but in a machine which trains them for its use.

Keywords Architecture
Aspect ratio 2.35:1 (Cinemascope) & other
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:30:00
Color Color
Sound Dolby Surround 5.1
Year 2019
Rent this work for public screenings

About the artists

Reuben Henry

Reuben Henry

Born in 1979. Based in London, UK.

Reuben Henry (UK) has been collaborating with Karin Kihlberg (SE) since 2004. Using an interdisciplinary approach their work explores how documentation, representation, and narratives are utilised by contemporary culture as routes to comprehend and consume the contemporary paradigm. In 2009 they were awarded the first prize for the ASPEX Emergency 4 exhibition with their work Performance #1, #2 & #3. Other group exhibitions include Art Futures at Bloomberg Space, Art Summer University at Tate Modern, The 100 ideas Festival at Hayward Gallery, Please Excuse my Appearance at Ikon Gallery and Cut my Legs of and Call Me Shorty at Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm. They have exhibited in solo exhibitions at Citric Gallery in Italy, Centre des Arts Actuels SKOL in Canada as part of Les Mois de la Photo á Montréal and at Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, UK. Kihlberg and Henry were working as researchers in the fine art department at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, The Netherlands between 2009-11.

Karin Kihlberg

Karin Kihlberg

Karin Kihlberg (Sweden, 1978) & Reuben Henry (UK, 1979) are artists working with moving image based in London. They were fellows at the Jan van Eyck Academy in the Netherlands 2009-2010 and studied Fine Art BA in Birmingham 2001 where they ran the international residency programme Springhill Institute until 2008.

Recent solo exhibitions and screenings include Whitstable Biennale, Whitechapel Gallery, Fig-2 at the ICA, London, The Grundy Gallery, Blackpool, Camden Arts Centre and Danielle Arnaud Gallery, where they are represented. Their work has been screened at Oberhausen and Channels Film Festivals, Melbourne, and have made commissions for The Great North Run Moving Image Commission and FACT, Liverpool.