a caelo usque ad centrum

Dena Yago & Laurie Spiegel
Cubbit Gallery, London
7 June - 20 July 2014

Curated by Fatima Hellberg

a caelo usque ad centrum – from the sky to the centre – is a collaboration between poet and artist Dena Yago and composer and humanist software developer Laurie Spiegel, returning to questions of friendship and exchange, circular forms of communication, self-abnegation and empathy. The exhibition extends from Spiegel and Yago’s individual practices, whilst also developing from exchanges around the more marginal aspects of their work. Spiegel is a feminist, animal rehabilitator and writer whose presence and work over the past forty years has charted a seismic shift in technology, in our relationships to the tools we use, and how these tools have reshaped the lines of creative production. Yago’s recent work as a poet and artist takes on forms of co-habitation, care and a partial relinquishing of agency in involvement with self-organised groups.

Taking the form of newly realised photographs, a video and writings, a caelo usque ad centrum, traces engagements with marginalisation, lines of affinity and survivalism through the ambivalent status and symbol of the urban bird. Yago and Spiegel step in and out of their own exchanges, alongside representations of and reflections on feral pigeons, city ducks and geese, and the spaces of care developed around them by certain groups and individuals. The work exists alongside contributions and materials by the advocacy group London Wildlife Protection (LWP).

A publication with new writings by Yago and Spiegel, alongside writers Isla Leaver-Yap and Kayla Guthrie and contributions by members of the London Wildlife Protection brings together work and reflections on friendship, self-abnegation and fragile spaces of sustenance and survivalism in over-heated and intensively commodified urban centres.

Dena Yago