To Name A Few
27 April – 22 June 2019, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Preview: Friday, 26 April 7–9 pm
I am sitting here with this feeling, and it is a familiar feeling, and it is my heart.
I am needing to reassure myself that I am not writing this letter to you, that I am
just writing it, simply writing it, simply letting it wander out.
I feel sad. My heart, my chest, what fills my chest, something like the taste of
copper, like sucking on a penny, like licking a 9 volt battery and getting a little
shock. It’s here, a little shock.
It has never been so apparent, the workings of shame embedded in my being so
old and outside, yet all the same my own deep thing to tend to, untangle, air out
And I guess it’s true, now I am writing to you. I am writing to you from me and
also to myself.
But isn’t that a letter?
The linear scroll is scraping against the pavement.
In my delusions I am literally some kind of a hero and that is embarrassing.
What holds the reigns, I think of some force, nameless, shapeless within and
outside this bodily container. Sending signals into outer space and actually
I can tell you the joy of this spring day, the brightness of 4PM light, the spirits
that burst through at this time. It’s almost too much of a drunken feeling to
manage. It’s almost too much.
There is my heart again. You know, I haven’t been able to feel my heart in so
And now I pause, and just stare at my hands, still on the board.
And in this moment I decided this letter is no longer for you, because I know
that you don’t want it.
This letter is for my heart, and I can say anything to my heart.
Right now, I am saying to my heart, I am sorry. I am sorry that I wrapped you up in cotton batting and put you away all tampered down and quiet. I am sorry that I hid you from myself, that I turned away from you while we were sleeping, and on purpose, many times.
I am sorry that I turned away from you, my heart. My beautiful, my tender, my sensitive, my loving, my strong, strong heart. And I am so sorry that I put you to rest so often as to no longer feel anything between my ribs and the sky.
To Name a Few
Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Gallery Weekend 2019
26 April – 22 June 2019
David Diao, 2018
Delmonico books — Prestel
With contributions from Philip Tinari, Michael Corris, Pi Li, Sarah K. Rich, Felicia Chen, Kerry Doran
Recipient of the 2019 Arnaldo Pomodoro Sculpture Prize
Solo exhibition opens in Fall 2019
Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Milan
Phaidon Contemporary Artist Series
Text by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jeannine Tang, and Lanka Tattersall
...and other such stories
Chicago Architecture Biennial
Chicago Cultural Center
19 September 2019 – 5 January 2020
Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples
Tanya Leighton is delighted to announce that the Museum of Modern Art, New York has acquired Marianne Wex's Let's Take Back Our Space: 'Female' and 'Male' Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures, 1977
Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, established in 2008, is dedicated to developing a cross-disciplinary, trans-generational gallery programme with off-site projects, in collaboration with artists, filmmakers, critics, art historians, and curators. Its international exhibition programme reflects a variety of opinions and practices as well as Leighton’s associations with American and British experimental cinema, artist’s film and video, performance, minimal and conceptual art.
Director: Simon Gowing
Director: Patrick Armstrong
Project Manager: Marie Egger
Gallery Manager: Jessica Aimufua
Registrar: Henry Babbage
Finance Manager: Stefan Schuster
Tanya Leighton GmbH
Kurfürstenstraße 156 & 24/25
Open Tuesday – Saturday
11am – 6pm and by appointment
Flag Mountain / Black Tower
12 June – 24 July 2010, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton is very pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of East-London artist and filmmaker John Smith in Berlin.
Smith will present two works 'Flag Mountain (Southern Nicosia, looking towards the border with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus)', 2010 (recent recipient of the ARTE prize at the 56th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen), and 'The Black Tower' from 1985-7. Both works in this exhibition, while very different in approach, develop ideas triggered by chance encounters with architecture and landscape. Smith's new work 'Flag Mountain' interprets a panoramic scene viewed from his apartment's balcony during a visit to Nicosia, while 'The Black Tower' creates an enigmatic narrative around an old water tower that could be seen from the window of his house in East London in the 1980s.
'Flag Mountain (Southern Nicosia, looking towards the border with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus)', 2010. HD video installation, seamless loop (7 mins. cycle)
In Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus, a display of nationalism is taken to its logical conclusion. Moving between macro and micro perspectives, 'Flag Mountain' sets dramatic spectacle against everyday life as the inhabitants of both sides of the city go about their daily business.
'The Black Tower', 1985-7 23 mins. 16mm film screened as SD video loop (30 mins. cycle)
"In 'The Black Tower' we enter the world of a man haunted by a tower which, he believes, is following him around London. While the character of the central protagonist is indicated only by a narrative voice-over which takes us from unease to breakdown to mysterious death, the images, meticulously controlled and articulated, deliver a series of colour coded puzzles, jokes and puns which pull the viewer into a mind-teasing engagement." - Nik Houghton
"A number of diverse filmic forms - documentary, abstraction, psychodrama and surrealist reverie - are convincingly bound together by the narrator's retelling of his descent into madness. Indeed, in its ability both to contain these various forms, and to create a plausible mimetic world, the film is an eloquent statement on the persuasive power of narrative." - Nicky Hamlyn
John Smith is concurrently showing two other film and video installations in Berlin as part of the Berlin Bienniale.
The popularity of John Smith's film and video work can be explained by his wry sense of humour, his play on language and the elegance of his visual style. Strongly influenced by the Structural Materialist ideas which dominated British artists' filmmaking during his formative years, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, he has developed a body of work which deftly subverts the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Drawing upon the raw material of everyday life, Smith's meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema.
"One of the most talented filmmakers of the postwar generation, he has attracted admirers from way beyond the narrow confines of the Avant Garde. His reputation rests on a quite unique sensibility which has successfully married three traits - humour, documentary and formal ingenuity - into an indissoluble whole." - Michael O'Pray, Art Monthly
Since the early 1970s John Smith has made over fifty film, video and installation works that have been shown in cinemas and galleries around the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. His solo exhibitions include Royal College of Art Galleries, London (2010), Sala Diaz Gallery, Texas (2010), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2006), Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (2005), Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool (2003) and Pearl Gallery, London (2003). He regularly presents his work in person and in recent years it has been profiled through retrospectives at the 2007 Venice Biennale and film festivals in Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Bristol, Regensburg, Glasgow and La Rochelle.