Ruth Beale: WHAT I BELIEVE (a polemical collection)
6 Nov – 19 Dec 2009
Free & open to all
SPACE Mare Street

A project by Ruth Beale based around her artwork/collection of political and ideological pamphlets: Pamphlet Library (2008 — ongoing).

Each one a polemical address, the pamphlets included in the library exemplify the pressing issues and opinions of their time in a format now nostalgically attractive in its antiquarianism. Complementing the library — which was fully accessible throughout the show — Beale developed a number of new three-dimensional and print works in relation to a set of Hogarth Sixpenny Pamphlets published by the Hogarth Press in 1939 to “provide thinking people with the means to consider fundamental problems in art, literature, taste and morals”*.

Additionally, a weekly book club and the commissioning of five new texts by contemporary writers revived arguments made in these pamphlets by E.M. Forster, Stephen Spender, John Betjeman, Virginia Woolf and Graham Bell around personal morality; art and politics; the heritage industry; the circulation and appreciation of art; and artists and capitalism.

As a final component, on the penultimate weekend of the exhibition an open-invite symposium designed by Beale explored the notion of ‘agitation’, from radical typesetting to the pollicisation of everyday life.

* Willis, J.H., Jr; Leonard and Virginia Woolf as Publishers: The Hogarth Press

Ruth Beale lives and works in London. Her practice takes the form of action-research into social and historical discourses through collections, plays, salons and performances. She is currently undertaking an MFA in Art Practice at Goldsmiths. Since February 2008 she has been hosting the themed discussion events ‘Miss B’s Salons’, including public events at the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), E:VENT Space, Camden Arts Centre and Wartesaal, Zurich. Recent exhibitions include solo presentations at Takt (Berlin, 2008) and Talbot Rice Gallery’s Round Room (Edinburgh, 2007); group shows at Gallery Atsui (Vancouver, 2009) and The Division of Human Works (New York, 2009); and performances at GSK Contemporary at the Royal Academy (Spartacus Chetwynd’s Helmut Newton Ladies Night, London, 2009).