With: @ Rogue Studios, Manchester

Review by Ali Gunn | 31 Oct 2013

From artists Nicola Dale, Julie Del’Hopital, Annie Harrison, Sarah Sanders, Jenny Steele and Jacqueline Wylie, With: is the result of a series of discussions held in a monthly crit session (Community of Practice) at Rogue Project Space. The six artists, collaborating in pairs, present three works that explore their common interests and reveal the experience of sharing interactions with one another. The exhibition, bound together by a text by Lauren Velvick, presents a critical viewpoint on the artists’ practice and the nature of their collaboration.

Annie Harrison and Jenny Steele’s piece, a video projection positioned low to the ground, surveys Piccadilly Basin, which is mere minutes away from Rogue Studios. The film is overlaid by architectural lines being drawn in real time, which in some places unite with the film’s imagery, creating a harmony, while clashing in others. Reflective of both artists’ interest in the urban environment, the video subtly touches on the nature of collaboration itself; the meeting of two practices, creating a synthesis within the bounds of their own individuality.

Having been collaborating across the internet since January this year, Jacqueline Wylie and Sarah Sanders present an email dialogue between the two artists and a drawing exercise. Their interaction consists of works inspired by a shared interest in art and learning. The email-based piece I’m New Here takes the form of lists of words from one artist to the other – a stream of consciousness forming a conversation. Two works on paper, Find a Biro, are of the same exercise repeated by both artists. Both document the artists' endeavour to collaborate across the digital world, and, although hard for the viewer to penetrate, show that the artists have been able to create a physicality between themselves in their collaboration, even through their distance.

Mirroring the presentation of Harrison and Steele’s work, Julie Del’Hopital and Nicola Dale’s video Stalker shows both analogue and digital footage playing concurrently – the footage documenting the day the artists let items of personal or special meaning sink into the River Mersey. The contrast of analogue and digital define their own independence within their collaboration.