Hannah Rae Alton, Irene Vidal Cal, Amy Goodwin, Anne Harild, Catrin Morgan
Cassiopeia is a constellation of five stars which form an M shape during certain times of year and which, at other points in the year appear as a W (3). This constellation was one of 48 first described by Ptolemy (4). Cassiopeia contains Tycho Brahe’s supernova, which flared in 1572 and is still a source of radio signals today (5). After his death, Tycho Brahe’s body was exhumed twice. Firstly, to discover the circumstances of his death and secondly to find out the material his artificial nose was made of (6). Cassiopeia is named after a queen in Greek mythology, the mother of Andromeda (7), who Poseidon tied to a chair and placed in the heavens as a punishment for boasting of her beauty (as she circles the earth she spends half of the year upside down). During world war two, Cassiopeia was a cargo ship (8) serving the US navy, she received one battle star for her service (9).
‘It’s not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present casts its light on what is past; rather what has been comes together in a flash to form a constellation.’ – Walter Benjamin
We are a group of five artists whose work clusters around overlapping research interests. Taking as our starting point Kenneth Goldsmith’s suggestion in that artists show their research material as work instead of the work itself, we are proposing a show which foregrounds our research practice, using it to demonstrate links between our studio pieces that would not otherwise be immediately apparent. Cassiopeia is a snapshot of our working practice at a particular moment in time, it is a crystallisation of our interests which will be visible only for the duration of the exhibition. Our work forms a constellation around various research interests. These include:
1. Rulemaking and constraint
2. Modular images
3. Misdirection and cryptography
4. Scientific discovery
6. Hidden histories
8. The built environment
9. Military history
Cassiopeia is a constellation of stars around which a further constellation of ideas and stories have developed. Whilst the idea of a constellation describes our relationship to each other as practitioners, it also refers to the way that our individual research and practice develops. Within the constellation of this show each body of work is a further constellation.