Sophie Ernst: HOME

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17.03.12 - 01.07.12
YSP presents the first solo exhibition in the UK by Sophie Ernst. HOME is a major ongoing project confronting political turmoil and displacement with individual memories of home and ideal places. Ernst interviews people forced to leave their homes due to political upheaval, such as during the Partition of South Asia in 1947, and builds an architectural model of the houses they describe. She then projects onto this sculpture video footage of the person's hands as they describe their memory of that building, transforming the inanimate object into a virtually inhabited space, and ascribing a profound intimacy.

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"The most affecting work in ‘Lines of Control’ is a piece by the Berlin-based artist Sophie Ernst, which addresses displacement through interviews with people who lived through it." 
Eliza Williams, Frieze Magazine

YSP is committed to supporting and articulating sculpture practice as well as effecting change on an individual and social level. During the exhibition, Ernst will develop a new sculpture. For this project she will work in collaboration with Taha Mehmood, the YSP Learning Team and a group of young people from YSP’s Shared Horizon initiative which works with unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the UK.

The YSP exhibition will be complemented by two important discussion events: Memory of Form at Delfina Foundation in London on 14 May 2012 will consider the sculptural significance and modes of display of HOME. Speakers include Professor Sean Cubitt, Professor in Global Media and Communication at the University of Southampton and Aaron Cezar, Director of Delfina Foundation. At Form of Memory at YSP on 20 June 2012, speakers including Astrid Schmetterling, Lecturer in Visual Cultures, at Goldsmiths and Maruška Svašek, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at Queens University will discuss the experience of home and the narratives of refuge.

A book documenting HOME with essays by Iftikhar Dadi, Taha Mehmood, Helen Pheby and Sophie Ernst as well as commentaries on HOME by Aamer Hussein, Nazmi Al-Jubeh, Yazid Anani, Kamila Shamsi and Salim Tamari will be published by YSP to coincide with this exhibition as well as Ernst’s inclusion in the Lines of Control group show at Johnson Museum, Cornell University, USA.

Born in 1972, Ernst first trained as a industrial mechanic with BMW before graduating from the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunst in Amsterdam in 2000. She won the Golden Cube award at the 26th Kassel Dokfest awarded for best installation. Ernst works between Asia and Europe and was Assistant Professor at the Beaconhouse National University, Lahore (2003-2007).

The exhibition is sponsored by The Mondriaan Foundation with support from the Dutch Embassy in London. The HOME project is made possible by the support of the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation, Green Cardamom, Sharjah Foundation and the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture.

Sophie Ernst: Memory of Form (Listen below)

A panel discussion to consider the sculptural significance and modes of display of HOME. In partnership with Delfina Foundation and Green Cardamom, London. Speakers include curator, artist and writer Shaheen Merali, Zehra Jumabhoy, Author and writer on Visual Art, Lisa LeFeuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies at the Henry Moore Institute and Aaron Cezar, Director of Delfina Foundation.

Sophie Ernst: Form of Memory  (Listen below)
A panel discussion to mark World Refugee Day 2012 with artist Sophie Ernst and key figures from academia and practice. Speakers including Astrid Schmetterling, Lecturer in Visual Cultures, at Goldsmiths, Helen Moore, Community Engagement Officer at York Minster and Maruška Svašek, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at Queens University will discuss the experience of home and the narratives of refuge. Chaired by Taha Mehmood and introduced by YSP Curator Dr Helen Pheby.

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Memories of home

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My first memory of home is where I grew up, trying to forward roll down the hall on a red patterned carpet, while my parents got ready to go to a wedding (and the grief I got into being confused and telling people it was their wedding and I was going to it!). My last memory of living in that house was the boxes of belongings in the front room packed ready for my move to University and a mix of feelings about the gatherings and life that had taken place there and the adventures yet to be had.
Helen Pheby on Sophie Ernst: HOME | See all (9) memories
When I was young my Dad would get up very early and have breakfast in our small kitchen. Sometimes I was up as well. He always had two cups of tea and listened to the radio. Paul Smart on Sophie Ernst: HOME
Memory. Last weekend I cleared my mother’s house with my sister. My mother lived there for 56 years. It was home. An ordinary house, but home. Mary Swainson on Sophie Ernst: HOME
Moving into our first family home which was a derelict house full of the previous old man’s belongings. The house had some what an air of mystery. I, aged around 5 decided to venture off to the garden which had a very large old shed. This shed was locked and my parents had struggled to find the key. As a little adventurer in the making I wanted to find the key to get in. To my surprise I found the key under the hedge next to the shed. Inside the shed were many odd curiosities and old artefacts. I took a particular liking to a lemon-shaped object with rough texture and a round metal pin stuck inside. Which at that moment my parents came in to find actually was a hand grenade. We had the police bomb squad round. A very memorable welcome to a new home! Nina Beresford on Sophie Ernst: HOME
Mum’s Sunday dinner. Memories of Dad. Before, after and at the end. Plum trees in the garden. Taking my daughter there. Christmas. Leaving and coming back. Helen Storr on Sophie Ernst: HOME
The house grows in time. The room where my sister was born. The centre between two rooms where my grandmother saw the heads of old dead people. The hall where my father slapped me. I went back. There was a gate with a lock. The trees had gone. But in my dreams it is the same house. All of us are there. Still being home. Still breathing. Heather Leach on Sophie Ernst: HOME
In 2007 my sister and I visited the Chinese city of Wuhan. We were both born in that city, me in Wuchang on the south of the Yangtse and her in Hankow on the North side. We visited the house on the 1897 Methodist Missionary Society Wesley Middle School campus/compound where I was born in 1937. She was born in 1951 in another missionary compound house, which despite trying very hard we were unable to find - probably because of much earlier extensive urban regeneration of an almost medieval area. Our family had returned to the School in 1948, having left late in 1937 because of the Sino-Japanese War. The 1949 Revolution, and, more recently, the extraordinary modernisation of China, means that while the School is still there - Wuhan Middle School Number 15 - it has been extensively rebuilt. "Our house" was still standing, although, since it is being used for Staff, we were unable to get inside and see any of the rooms. The feeling of deprivation at being unable to enter the house, with its intense personal memories ­- e.g. sitting listening to a wind up gramophone at the foot of the stairs, a rare moment of intimacy with my father soon after we arrived,­­ was galling. It was, for me, the whole point of our visit -­ to see that house. (I have since understood that, despite having no memory of it, but 'knowing' it from photos, I had a sense of going home, basically to the only home I ever had, which was then lost again - an insight I had not yet reached as I experienced Sophie's installation, but which clearly was enabled by viewing her work that day.) So thankyou for your project here. It has opened the possibility of using the art of relating the physicality of the home/ house/ to relate to my own past and my present, living with that past. Tom Richardson on Sophie Ernst: HOME
Home is the absence of uncertainty. David Noyce on Sophie Ernst: HOME
The house that I grew up in had a significant influence on my art practice. Built in Kentucky, it was one of the original prefab homes, and was dismantled and shipped to southern Alberta in 1906. Attempting to entice prospective residents to the area, the Department of Immigration advertised the house on posters and postcards as a typical farm home, but it was anything but typical; it was over 7000 square feet, with a number of crystal chandeliers as well as hidden passageways in the attic, between rooms, and in the basement. It also had a resident ghost! Growing up in this magical and sometimes spooky house informed my interest in intimate spaces and special places, and provided the foundation for an interest in the house as metaphor for thought. Brenda Fredrick on Sophie Ernst: HOME

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