Matthew Stone
Optimism as Cultural Rebellion


Matthew Stone

Optimism as Cultural Rebellion

November 1st – December 10th, 2011

Opening November 1st 6-9pm

The Hole is pleased to announce the first comprehensive gallery exhibition in the United States by British artist Matthew Stone.

The exhibition will focus on the intersections between the ideas, photography and sculptures that define Matthew’s work. Alongside his sculptural installations of photography, he will also be presenting a performance at the gallery titled “Anatomy of Immaterial Worlds” (November 3rd at 9pm) as part of the visual art performance biennial PERFORMA 11.

Two large wooden planes bisect the gallery walls and provide a rhythm for the navigation of the space. Photographic nudes printed directly onto birch panels are cut, hinged and folded along the walls and across the floor, in what uber-curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist has described as “a-perspective constellations”. In one work titled “Forever Rules” a large photographic nude is cut into hundreds of squares and attached to fabric that passes through an oak dodecahedron and cube, draping down onto the floor. Whilst Plato’s divine geometry is honored in part, it is simultaneously corrupted by the poetic complexity and beauty of the human body in action, flowing through and against the rigid logic of its geometric counterparts.

The title of the exhibition “Optimism as Cultural Rebellion” should be considered a one-line manifesto, perhaps a “mini-festo”. Since 2004 Matthew has developed a personal philosophy of Optimism, defining it as “the vital force that entangles itself with and then shapes the future.” This timely position permeates all of his activities. Matthew Stone operates as an artist in a total sense: his very being, his community, his lifestyle and its expression dictate the creation of his interconnected works. As well as creating photography and sculpture he works in multiple worlds as curator, philosopher, performer, musician, facilitator and cultural provocateur.

Matthew was born in 1982 and graduated from Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London with honors in painting. After leaving college he masterminded the art-collective-cum-scene !WOWOW! in squatted South-London buildings. Their group shows and parties in empty buildings attracted audiences of over 1500 people and a performance event at the Tate saw a record 4000 people in attendance. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at V1 Gallery, Denmark; Galerie Paul Freches, Paris; Boyschool, London; Gea Politi, Milan, and Union Gallery, London. I first came across Matthew’s work when Terence Koh presented Tianhuang Dadi at Asia Song Society on Canal Street in 2007.

Recent photographic projects include a collaboration with Givenchy’s Ricardo Tisci for the cover of the 20th anniversary issue of Dazed & Confused magazine and a fold-out sculptural cover for the current Flaunt Magazine. He composes original music for close friend and collaborator, fashion designer Gareth Pugh’s shows and has directed music videos for acclaimed British bands These New PuritansS.C.U.M and for New York lo-fi band No Bra.

MS Install Shot 1 MS Install Shot 2 Rules Forever (Installation shot) - By Matthew Stone - 2011