Claire Hope ‘Contact’  – 

Contact is a new work by artist Claire Hope. In Contact female actors and students explore affectionate gestures of attachment. Beginning by touching hands with hands, in a way that draws on depictions of closeness in cinema, the women’s interactions become increasingly creative as Contact aims to depict, and imaginatively extend, the kind of bodily inventiveness often witnessed between attached people. Conversations with the actors about their experiences of performing attachment, and of making ‘contact’ with other actors in film and theatre productions, overlay or disrupt the footage of their interactions with the students. Contact creates a dialogue between the representation of close relationships in visual culture and the political potential of reframing creativity between attached people as forms of collaboration and agency.

The project was realised in the context of Hope’s post-doctoral fellowship hosted by the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds in partnership with Pavilion. The post was funded by the AHRC’s Cultural Engagement Fund. The project developed Hope’s doctoral research, which explored the significance of human attachment as a largely overlooked dimension of viewers’ interactions with images of others.

Claire Hope (UK, 1977) lives in Leeds and makes moving image and live performance artworks. In October 2015 she led three ‘Attach + Perform’ workshops as part of About Time, at The Brunswick, Leeds and performed live in June 2015 at the Brunel Museum tunnel shaft in London. Claire exhibited Group Photo, an Arts Council funded three-screen moving image commission at Gallery II, Bradford, UK in 2014. She has had solo exhibitions with Tank.tv in 2009 and Way East Project Space (London, 2008). Further selected exhibitions include with Transmediale (Berlin, 2007); S1/Salon (Sheffield), Mains D'Oeuvres Arts Centre (Paris) and LUX (London) all in 2009; David Dale Gallery (Glasgow, 2012); British Artists' Film & Video Study Collection (London) and Bermondsey Project & Arbeit with Carmen Billows (London) in 2013. In 2012 Claire participated in the retreat on ‘The Self’ at Wysing Arts Centre, group exhibition and related events. During a three-month research-work placement at dOCUMENTA(13) in 2012, Claire ran a series of three public events involving invited speakers and the public titled The Self in Dialogue with the Economy. Her earlier art practice involved the production of site-specific installations. Claire is a Visiting Lecturer in Fine Art at Leeds Beckett University. She gained a PhD in Fine Art (Practice-led) from the University of Leeds in 2015, graduated with an MA Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art, London in 2004 and Claire is a former LUX Associate Artist (2007/8).

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