Emalin is pleased to present 118½, the inaugural exhibition at The Clerk’s House, the gallery’s second exhibition space in London.
Tolia Astakhishvili, Alvaro Barrington, Matt Browning, Laura Carralero Morales, Nicholas Cheveldave, Adriano Costa, Matias Faldbakken, Stanislava Kovalcikova, Ceidra Moon Murphy, Karol Palczak, Matthew Peers, Coumba Samba, Vunkwan Tam, Sung Tieu, Marina Xenofontos
The Clerk’s House is the oldest building in Shoreditch. It sits on the side of St. Leonard’s Church, bearing the street number 118½ – a half-place between the church grounds and the secular world. Its current form, overlooking the cemetery and Shoreditch High Street, has been preserved since 1735. It was once a watchhouse from which an invigilator looked out for body snatchers during East London’s tumultuous 18th and 19th century, with its new anxieties of urban, moral turmoil.
Shoreditch is a place stacked with histories of expulsion and commerce – dispossession and production. Once a token of deviance, outcast beyond the City walls, it was transformed by cultural and then economic forces which turned its difference into capital. And so, the building we are standing in has seen the historic parade of these eras – each emblematic of different desires that have driven crowds to worship, to play, to bury their dead, to fabricate, to shop, to extort and to shelter.
Trailing through The Clerk’s House’s piling narratives, the participating artists engage questions of domesticity and its politics, spirituality and material value, and the spaces of commerce and labour. They ask what it means to find an object – a used postcard, a broken table, a trace of our past work – what memories and narratives are carried within it or projected onto it. Poor materials become precious and valued matter dissolves and overgrows. Scales of time condition what is made and imagined; only so much dust can accrue while we watch, while watching is allowed, while time submits to our watching.