Selected Work|Risk Assessment

The Chinese Arts Centre, Whisper Residency, Manchester.

Review by Corridor 8 

Text by Lauren Velvick

“In a small, high ceilinged room at the Chinese Arts Centre, various tools and implements are aligned neatly on a table, whilst a loop pedal joins a shaver and a mysterious pile of hair on the floor…”

Rosanne Robertson

Whisper residency

Chinese Arts Centre Press Release

29 April – 11 May 2013

Local artist Rosanne Robertson works predominantly in live art and sound. As a direct response to Yan Xing’s 2012 solo exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, she has been developing a residency project exploring risk and gender which she has titled ‘Risk Assesment’. For Rosanne, the work of Yan often addressed gender roles and with some works- failures of these roles. For Rosanne risk can be seen as a potential action that leads to a potential failure, it is this potential stage and where it can lead to that interests the artist. Rosanne took particular inspiration from Yan Xing’s Daddy Project (2011). In this film Yan Xing relays semi fictional and semi factual stories of his father whom he never met, or in some cases the men in his life who is Mother referred to as his Daddy.

After making initial contact with Yan Xing about his practice and after posing a series questions to the artist about his use of song within his work, Rosanne then began to work on her own focus around risk and gender here in the residency space. Her residency consisted of a continuous open studio space where she acted out sound and action based explorations from 3-5pm daily for the public to witness.

In Rosanne’s previous recent sculptural explorations into risk and gender the use of explicitiy gender associated props has always been apparent. Moving away from this for the residency, Rosanne has now focused on utilising various shaving implements, as for her the act of shaving are a way to play with the themes of gender, without referring to any one specific gender.

Linking back once again to Yan Xing’s Daddy project (2011), Rosanne chose to re-visit a childhood memory of attempting to imitate her father in shaving, only to end up with a cut chin. The works on show within the residency space are a direct result of this line of research, bringing with them their own associations of risk and gender. Various arrangements of objects, actions, constructs and sounds sit within the residency space, each representing the action taken and the risks associated with it.

The open studio on the evening of 9 May  saw a live sound based performance/ action take place, with the evidence of which remaining as part of the open studio until 11May.