Including Stephanie Mann, Oana Stanciu and Charlie Cook
Every year, Hidden Door exhibits new, compelling work from visual artists that confront the limits of convention. Their 2018 programme is no exception, with its creative dismantling of heteronormativity, perceptions of space and of the body – extending even to notions of art itself. From cat litter to clapping machines, check out these five artists that are making waves at this year's Hidden Door.
At the State Cinema, Edinburgh based Stephanie Mann is making a stage set environment that will house a new print and film. She has devised a floor covering made of Crystal Peremium cat litter, which looks like rock salt, combined with hundreds of precise ceramic wiggles.
Often structured as mise-en-scenes, her prints are a nod to still life tradition as well a means of exploring how objects might act as coordination points within internal psychological space. In this case a mountain supporting a pile of objects both natural and synthetic will be offered up, ripe for the picking.
London-Edinburgh based Oana Stanciu is contributing to Hidden Door this year for the fourth time. Each year her work evolves while retaining focus on her body as she carries out strange repeating sequences of movements that appear to distort time. Like magic tricks or illusions her prints and videos often conceal part of their means of production, making for a surreal dream-like atmosphere. This year Stanciu is challenging herself to be more performative. She will develop new work live in the exhibition space in response to a selection of objects, presenting a changing display of images and videos.
Manchester based Charlie Cook doesn't take himself too seriously. For him Hidden Door is an opportunity to enjoy the attention of a big audience and to make work that's bigger and better than ever before. Cook's memorable long tiled ramp and soaped roller-skates at GSA's 2016 degree show give a taste of the type of happy-go-lucky hubris to expect. He finds it awkward when people applaud him for his work, saying 'I'm not the performer, the work is the performer.' In the State Cinema he'll present 'Round of Applause,' a large kinetic clapping machine that taps into the innocence and pure enjoyment of waiting in suspense.
In the foyer of the State Cinema Lucy Wayman will exhibit 20 metres of hand beaded mesh fringing, a glamorous counterpoint to the exposed wires and piping of this derelict space. For Wayman, intricate craft-based construction techniques are an opportunity to reflect on the tension between order and chaos, and the precarious position of craft-based labour in contemporary art.
Taking part in RSA New Contemporaries 2017, Wayman exhibited a floor to ceiling loop of 135 industrial mop heads hand woven together. This year Hidden Door provides an opportunity for her to continue developing work on an ambitious scale.
Rachel Frances Sharpe
Developing research she began on the MFA at Glasgow School of Art in 2017, Sharpe will look at the queer body in relation to minimalist sculpture, exploring whether it's possible to use sculpture to reject hetero-normative identities. Working in an old dressing room, she is creating a stage-set that references those of the Hollywood era. Although her work has a lot to do with the politics of the body, there will be no 'body' or performer present. Instead she will create an atmosphere or environment in which invite visitors to place their own interests and meanings in the space.
Volunteer-run arts organisation Hidden Door returns for a long weekender of music and art at Leith Theatre. Following a successful fundraising campaign to secure the future of the non-profit festival, the team behind Hidden Door have opted for a shorter format in 2019, to support efforts to build towards a full festival…