doggerfisher is delighted to be showing Our Magnolia, a new 16mm film by Nashashibi / Skaer. It marks Nashashibi / Skaer’s fifth collaboration and their first solo show in Scotland.
Our Magnolia takes as its starting point Paul Nash’s painting Flight of the Magnolia, in which a single magnolia flower appears to blossom in the evening sky. Nash (1889 – 1946) who was an official war artist in both the First and Second World Wars, spoke of the terror of the English sky blossoming with enemy parachutes, but Nash went on to admit that after completing his ‘Aerial Flowers’ series of paintings in an essay of the same name, that he ‘could never be frightened by the laws of gravity to the same degree again’.
This appearance of the flower seems to be an event and an omen. In using the magnolia as an equivalent to the parachute, or an explosion in the sky, Nash creates an abstract language with recognisable images; often using the natural world in an unnatural order to depict the closeness of death and the agents of destruction. As Nash said, ‘the assembling and associating of different objects […] create that true irrational poise which is the solution to the personal equation.’ This use of analogy and combination is the inspiration for Nashashibi / Skaer’s Our Magnolia.
Nashashibi / Skaer began collaborating in 2005. The starting point for their collaboration is a shared interest in each other’s individual work and a sense of experimentation. Their first film, Ambassador (2005) was a portrait of the British Consul General in Hong Kong. Their second, Flash in the Metropolitan (2006) was filmed after dark in New York’s Metropolitan Museum, where a sporadic flashlight illuminated various exhibits. In 2008 Nashashibi / Skaer were commissioned by Berlin Biennial to make a new work, Pygmalion Workshop which was inspired by Matisse’s Vence Chapel on the French Riviera. In 2008 / 9 they exhibited in Art Now, Tate Britain. Nashashibi / Skaer will be exhibiting this Autumn in ‘For The Blind Man . . .’ at Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis and touring.
Rosalind Nashashibi (born 1973) studied at Glasgow School of Art. Recent exhibitions include Chisenhale Gallery, London; Scotland and Venice, 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) and Projects in Art and Theory, Cologne (2008). In September Nashashibi has a solo show at ICA, London touring to Bergen Kunsthalle, Norway. In November Nashashabi begins the Accented Residency, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo.
Lucy Skaer (born 1975) studied at Glasgow School of Art. Recent exhibitions include Scotland and Venice, 52nd Venice Biennale, (2007) Chisenhale Gallery, London and The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2008) and A Boat used as a Vessel, Kunsthalle Basel (2009). She has been nominated for this year’s Turner Prize and will be exhibiting at Tate Britain from 6 October – 16 January. In September Skaer will began at 10 month residency at Location One, New York.
Our Magnolia was commissioned by doggerfisher with generous support from the Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund. Our Magnolia is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival 2009.