msdm a nomadic house-studio-gallery for photographic art and curatorial research, an expanded practice of the artist's book, photobook publishing and peer-to-peer collaboration created by contemporary artist paula roush

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blackchapel flaneuse

Photographic silkprints, duo-tone, 150 cm x 50 cm

Women’s Photographs of Women 1970s-2020

With: Sarah Ainslie, Julie Cook, Lucinda Douglas-Menzies, Rachel Ferriman, Chris Kelly, Daniele Lamarche, Jenny Lewis, Marketa Luskacova, Patricia Niven, Moyra Peralta, Tamara Rabea Stoll, Hussina Raja, paula roush. 
Curated by Sarah Ainslie
Part of Women’s History Month
The Brady Arts Centre
London, March 2-28 2020

This photographic collage inscribes walking and the collecting  of images in a temporal space construction within Whitechapel’s market when I lived in a nearby building and would come by in the afternoons, with my camera, the stalls boasting with women strolling in the hijabs' market. I would wonder around, photographing and feeling this might be what a female flanerie looks like, women both looking at each other and being looked at, within the protected veil of the hijab. Are we the Whitechapel invIsible flauneuses, I asked myself?
I saw a gendered appropriation of public space,  a playful subversiveness of  the dark Whitechapel wound culture which is still so wrongly attuned to the celebration of Jack the Ripper’s crimes.  This unique way of sharing the urban realm with my sisters required a revision of the term used for the male urban flaneur, to take it further than a simple feminisation of the word: “In the end after all the discussion about women’s access to the practice of flanerie: Why on earth would any woman want to be a flaneur?"  asks Janet Wolff (in Gender and the Haunting of Cities; or, the Retirement of the Flâneur (2006).  
If we understand the city itself as a narrative device we may begin to entertain other counter-narratives - to confront the shadows and obscurities, the dark silences and the ghosts. Agnes Varda, used the term glaneuse: ‘to glean’ is collect what is left behind after a harvest. In the film Les Glaneurs et La Glaneuse (The Gleaners and I, 2001), Agnes looks at herself as a gleaner: cinematography (and photography, in my case) is as much gleaning as picking up a piece of fruit to eat. Why on earth would I want to be a flaneuse if I can be a glaneuse?

Spitalfields Life by the gentle author: East End Women Photographers

Accordeon book

4 toner prints sewn with overlock stitch
82 cm x 58 cm
msdm studio

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photographic toner prints and overlock stitch on fabriano paper
82 cm x 58 cm

artist's book, photographic toner on bond paper
16 pages bound with stab stitch
30 cm x 42 cm

EVIDENCING THE EAST END, exhibition views
Two photobookworks photographed at 85 Stepney Way Warehouse, Whitechapel London
presented as a double site-specific installation
msdm studio Whitechapel, May 2016

BLACKCHAPEL (woundings)
One of a collection of bookworks inspired by location of the house-studio-gallery. For two years,  msdm occupied a 40,000sf warehouse space in Whitechapel. Photographic practice and research traced signs of everyday spatial practice, past and present, as well as ley lines of psychic architectural and urban resonance.

Tuesday  October 31, 2016
Strolling around the perimeter of the site I pass by a black door with a metal house number:1888. It wasn't here before yet feels uncannily familiar: the year that Jack the Ripper attacked. The first victim was  found  just around the corner, across Whitechapel Road, next to where  is now Sainsbury’s supermarket and car park.

The house-studio-gallery occupied the stock traders's grading rooms, where cocoa and coffee beans from around the world were quaity tested. The strategic significance of this location in relation to the City was uncovered when juxtaposing the planning application for the site with the occult geography of East London. A diagram of secret power lines emerged, connecting the Protected Vistas to Iain Sinclair’s pentagram in Lud Heat and Alan Moore & Edi Campbell’s book From Hell.
A backdoor in a neighbouring warehouse, provided a portal into another time and space.  A pop-up staging of 1888 by an immersive theatre company, recreated the Whitechapel murders for queuing audiences.

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SUPER – PRIVATE : SCENES  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

SUPER – PRIVATE : SCENES 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 2017 paula roush

SUPER – PRIVATE : SCENES 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 2017 paula roush

SUPER – PRIVATE : SCENES  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Leporello bookwork in six volumes
Editing and design: paula roush
Photographic source: EPS + Al-Yom Collections /Arab Image Foundation
Inkjet and laser printing on Epson 189 gsm paper (leporello) and Corona offset 120gsm (folded insert)
30x11cm, expanding to 40-130cm depending on the volume
Hand-bound and published  by msdm publications
Second edition for infinite multiple

Super-private consists of photographs taken in the late 1940s, 1950s by a Lebanese banker known as RS, sourced from the Arab Image Foundation’s  EPS collection. Insert includes a newspaper photograph from the ‘Al-Yom collection’ (also held at the Foundation), showing the building where RS worked, damaged by a nearby explosion during the 1975-1990 Civil War, and a conversation between PR (paula roush) and EPS, who donated the ‘EPS collection’ to the Arab Image Foundation and wishes to remain anonymous.

scene #1 : RS (self-portrait by the flower curtains), 12 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 130 cm

  scene #2: Andrée (Beirut Hippodrome), 8 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 84 cm scene #3: Rositta (Budapest, hotel room),  6 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 63 cm scene #4: Andrée (Show jumping),  8 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 84 cm

scene #5: Rositta (Beirut Corniche),  8 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 84 cm

scene #6: Rositta (Hamra, family home), 8 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 84 cm

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PAINTBALL FIELD [blue+yellow]

bookwork, 2018
printed with a Monochrome Océ Laser on Xerox Bond paper
shot with paintball gun (two tones) by GBH
118.9 x 84.1 cm each folio, installed on metal table with chipboard top

Paintball Field was made during a residency in the ‘schist’ mountain villages of Portugal. The area has become depopulated and is now being developed as a destination for tourists. The title of the work refers to a local recreation area where visiting families come with their children to play war games using guns firing balls of paint. The photographs conjure up a hunting scene in which a female figure wearing a cork mask – resembling those that were used by the original villagers during carnival – is being pursued. More than a simple ironic take on violence and war, the work draws on ethnographic connotations, evoking a dramatic encounter between the rural traditions of the past and present-day cultural practices.

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Photographic silkscreen prints on Fabriano paper, mono and duotones
wall installation, 24 prints, with 5 film acetates, 242 cm x 340 cm 
shelf installation, 16 busts with folios, 22cm x 458 cm x 20 cm

Tender Cups (10 found bras with 10 poems about absent breasts)
54 pages, 16,75 x 24cm (folded)
Book block: Colour laser print, monotone process on157gsm matt paper, unbound
Loose folios: 10 photographs and 10 visual poems in 20 folds + assorted inserts
Cover: silkscreen print wrap on 200 gsm fabriano paper
Edition of 1

Tender Cups contains two collections: "Found Bras" and "Absent Breasts". Whilst the photographs of bras are presented as mono and duotone prints, the textual elements are visually composed as breasts-sentences that supplement the absence of bodies from the printed pages.

TENDER CUPS, installation, msdm studio, Whitechapel 2017

-visual: 10 bras found on the street and individually photographed in the genre of studio portrait. Processed in photoshop and printed in different sizes and substrates using xerographic and silkscreen printing
-textual: 10 poems on absent breasts, with words sampled from a range of discourses from autobiography, testimony, art history, medical case studies, lingerie advertising, feminist and queer gender studies and social media.
-title: hommage to Gertrude Stein, 1914 Tender Buttons

As a visual object that adopts the form of the book, TENDER CUPS doesn’t fit into neat book categories (as a photobook or a literary book) the same way ‘breasts’ destabilise binary definitions of genre/sexuality, and fit/healthy bodies. Format and binding invoke the chest in a non-binary way, both symmetric and assymetric, flat and three-dimensional.