Ciao! Compost presents:

A Beginner’s Guide to Psychic Archiving

by Kate Lepper

Performed on site in Finland by: Nastja Rönkkö, Anna Bunting-Branch
And via digital link from Quebec, Canada by: Kate Lepper

“objectify Pronunciation: /ɒbˈdʒɛktɪfʌɪ/
verb (objectifies, objectifying, objectified)
[with object]
1 express (something abstract) in a concrete form:
good poetry objectifies feeling
2 degrade to the status of a mere object:
a deeply sexist attitude that objectifies women*”

A Beginner’s Guide to Psychic Archiving is an experimental new work developed for Performance Compost, a festival of Live Art at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland. Performance Compost aims to create a living museum including lectures, installations and a blog, addressing such questions as: how can performance art be documented? Can documents from previous performances be used as material for new ones? What kind of documents can be used to create a performance and what is the role of those documents in the performance? How can the boundary between fact and fiction be blurred in a performance?

A Beginner’s Guide to Psychic Archiving playfully suggests that the problem of recording the meaningful moment in any live art work (as in any art interaction no matter how ‘autonomous’) is akin to the impossibility of capturing concretely the experience of being in ones body. This problem becomes politicised when attributes of an ‘object’ are defined and stacked in a value hierarchy determined by a knowledge producing elite, and not according to the ‘object’s’ own determination.

In response to themes of exhibitionism, narcissism and objectification within performative practice and feminist theory, A Beginners Guide to Psychic Archiving intends to free each performer from the politics of the ‘Gaze’, to occupy attention away from critical self-consciousness, confront the values of ‘spectacle’ and create problems for conservative strategies of knowledge production and dissemination.

Using the lexicon of mind-body techniques, everyday objects, art conservation, office presentations and memory, A Beginners Guide to Psychic Archiving suggests that the site of meaning is always on the move between material and sensation, between self and other, and, between the known and the unknowable.

Consisting of eight Psychic Archiving Exercises beginning every half hour, this is a practical instructional on how to record memories of famous women performance artists in Object Archives.

Schedule of Exercises:

  • The Ono-Export Performance Charades
  • Orlan’s Plastic Surgery series (1979-93) & The Crystalline Structure of Soil
  • Marina Abramovic’s Art Must be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (1975) & A Scent Remnant
  • Ana Mendieta’s Ocean Bird Wash-up (1974) & A Data Silhouette
  • Jo Spence’s A Picture of Health (1982-6) & A Shape-Colour Essence
  • Adrian Piper’s The Mythic Being (1973) & The Memory of Water
  • Carollee Schneeman’s Interior Scroll – The Cave (1975) & An Air Drive
  • Pippilotti Rist’s Pickelporno (1992) & A Salad Legacy



Performance At Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art

MIXING METAPHORS by CIAO! COMPOST at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland.
CIAO! COMPOST (Nastja Rönkkö  / Fin,  Anna Bunting-Branch / UK, Kate Lepper / NZ) is the latest in a series of experimental performative encounters between diverse artistic methodologies and aesthetics. The Ciao! Compost project revives not only the works of individual artists (the poetics and politics of their relationships within the narrative of art history), but also thinks through complex and challenging questions of ownership, re-enactment and preservation of an art form that, by its own definition, rebels against preservation and the stillness of object-hood.
Traversing such varied terrain as a disco of rock stars died young, a folktale infused children’s hand-clapping game, and A Beginners Guide to Psychic Archiving. Over three days, Ciao! Compost will present three new works each involving a live video/audio link with Quebec, during which the day will dawn from darkest Canadian night.
Three works performed by CIAO! COMPOST
4th October, 5 – 8pm: ‘Club 27′ by Nastja Rönkkö
5th October, 10am – 2pm: ‘Suomi Missi (Bim Bum)’ by Anna Bunting-Branch
6th October, 10am – 2pm: ‘A Beginners Guide to Psychic Archiving’ by Kate Lepper
Performance Compost
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
Helsinki, Finland

Artist Residency at Site Festival & Meantime Project Space

I will be Artist in Residence this weekend at Site Festival 2012, in Stroud.

My residency will coincide with Causeway – a pop-up restaurant, that teams designer Anna Usborne with architects Millar Howard Workshop in making a place to meet, eat and encounter art. Food will be provided by the Hobbs House Bakery, a.k.a. The Fabulous Baker Brothers of recent TV fame. (See pdf flyer below for details)
My weekend Satellite Residency is presented by Meantime Project-Space, Cheltenham, and will mark the beginning of my ‘Tactile Love Propaganda’ project that will get into full swing at Meantime, during the month of June. At Site Festivial, I will begin with a statement of intent by making a tactile psuedo-protest banner with the affirmation: ‘There is a Cure for Capitalism Inside Your Imagination That Wants to Get Out‘.
For more information about my upcoming residency at the Meantime Project-Space follow this link:
Best wishes,

Group Sculpture Show

I have new work ‘Weed Preserver with Pillar Pillow’ in this show at Construction Gallery.


We would like to invite you to our Closing Event that will celebrate the culmination of our well received first three-month run funded by the Outer London Fund.

We have loved bringing you Construction Gallery and are in conversations about its future continuation. All letters of support are very welcome and a big thank you to all our audiences and friends! E-mail us at
Construction Gallery
Sculpture Show
Wed 21 – Sun 25 March, 12 – 7 daily
Closing Event: Saturday 24 March 2012
6.30pm to 9.30pm
after celebration at Brick Box’s 2nd Unorthobox event from 9pm
74 – 80 Upper Tooting Road, London SW17 7PB
Bram Thomas Arnold, Helen Barff, Nadia Berri, Sarah Bowker-Jones, Amy Cochrane, Alice Cunningham, Dexter Dymoke, Anna Flemming, Catalina Garces de los Rios, Jonathan Gildersleeves, Kate Lepper, Fiona Long, Jera May, Fleur Melbourn, Joanna Mires, Emer O’Brien, Marianna O’Reilly, PsychoanalYSL, Sam Zealey.

Sculpture is the theme of our final exhibition and each space within Construction Gallery has been opened to a provocative set of juxtapositions.

With a multitude of materials, methods and motives the selected participants provide insight into contemporary sculpture.

From tongue-in-cheek inventions to surreal forms that suspend disbelief; from carefully balanced compositions to the sinister implications of obsessive design; from craft as a means to remember to craft as a means to forget; various concerns are introduced in a collision of intuitive and analytical means with which ideas and their forms can be celebrated

Our final exhibition takes a fun humorous approach to sculpture, bringing cutting edge art into this unconventional gallery space and reflecting the wider interests at the core of the POST artist group’s ethos.
Bram Thomas Arnold
Bram Thomas Arnold works with simple and subtle imagery, that often have melancholic or Romantic overtones to them. “I work with explanations of experience, or attempts at such, idiosyncratic ways of looking at perception that seek to open up in the viewer the realisation that all perception is idiosyncratic; that I have never seen anything you have, and you have never seen anything I have.”
Helen Barff 
The Materials and processes Helen Barff uses contradict and disrupt expected perceptions – hard, cold materials look soft and warm. Heavy pieces or objects look weightless. Objects turned upside-down disturb perceptions of gravity. Things turned inside out create a dichotomy between presence and absence. The work suggests the uncanny, yet invites a tactile interaction.

Nadia Berri 
Nadia Berri’s practice investigates the interrelationship between imagination, reality and perception. 

‘Ladder without steps’ is a sculpture that transforms a figure of speech into a physical object. In the figure of speech a concrete image is used to describe something less tangible – in this case the idea of impossibility. Nadia Berri is interested to see what happens when this concrete image, only ever existing in the mind, becomes actual reality.



Sarah Bowker-Jones
Sarah Bowker-Jones‘ ribbon paintings, created specifically for the Construction Gallery windows during a project residency are made using plastic curling ribbon, polythene, acrylic paint, PVA, dirt and heat.
Amy Cochrane
Amy Cochrane utilises imagery from Greek and Egyptian art – restoring white marble sculptures with the colours they once wore. This conflict with our modern sensibility for clean white classical sculptures raises questions regarding taste and the kitsch. She uses common representations of these archetypal forms to restore some kind of mystique akin to the original.
Alice Cunningham
Through an understanding of materiality and form Alice Cunningham seeks to evoke a pure individual perception on a very base, instinctive level; to try and speak through materials.

Her recent work is concerned with highlighting natural process as a mirror to describe the cogs of our existence in a greater sense and hint at the artificial complexities of our modern world

Dexter Dymoke
Referring losely to A E Houseman’s poetry, Dexter Dymoke‘s sculpture, “Lost Content” uses found objects and materials in a nostalgic manner that makes them seem like symbols retrieved from the past.

“Focusing on that which is forgotten, ignored or taken for granted, my process is an improvisation of a story, the resolution of which remains bracingly elusive.”
Anna Flemming
The practice of giving present value to past objects is the main focus of Anna Flemming‘s current work.  Through a selective accumulation of material she studies the cultural and social ramifications of using a nostalgic method of production.  Primarily working with the bizarre and kitsch aesthetic of dated decorative objects, she aims to investigate the fragmented nature of presenting the past through contemporary culture.
Catalina Garces de los Rios
Catalina Garces de los Rios’ light box with view master attached to the front, explores cultural dislocation. The slides narrate a world of slapstick scenes performed by the artist, whilst the viewer is invited to listen to the sound of a voice struggling to recite the British national anthem.
Jonathan Gildersleeves
Jonathan Gildersleeves artwork explores the relationship between drawing and sculpture. He produce 3D objects through an intuitive, playful process, similar to that of doodling or sketching.
Kate Lepper 
Kate Lepper‘s practice deals with human relationships with nature and the nature/culture academic paradigm. The aesthetic is intentionally easy, drawing on toys, furniture, clothing and utensils. Often involving vegetables, plants or animal remnants and plastic, pseudo-functional objects and installations attribute emotional experience to the inanimate, and suggest unlikely uses for the useless.
Fiona Long
Fiona Long’s practice explores the way in which the banal and everyday can be humorously elevated through laborious scrutiny. Her site responsive work examines the environment and recapitulates it in a subtly absurd way. Her sculptures playfully challenge our expectations of the urban environment. With attention, the most ordinary details can become exquisite observations.
Jera May
Jera May replaces Constable’s foreboding sky with an invading ocean presenting an inescapable peril for this heartening pastoral scene.  The title of the work, Lagoon, is taken from ‘The Drowned World’ by JG Ballard, a science fiction writer of 20th century apocalyptic literature who predicts another kind of landscape which occurs when temperatures increase, ice caps melt and the inevitable rise of the sea.
Fleur Melbourn
Fleur Melbourn‘s ‘The Enemy’  is an archival project on the second phase of the Third Reich’s ‘Wonderweapons’ at the end of WWII and Hitler’s quasi Sci-fi ambitions. Upon their victory, the allied forces implemented ‘Operation Paperclip,’ a controversial “bleaching” of the ‘menace to security’ status of Nazi Scientists, in order to commandeer their technological developments for the sake of US space exploration.
Joanna Mires
Joanna Mires’ work aims to elevate the discarded; a fascination with second hand objects and “the idea that something hs a life before my experience of it”.

The ornaments shown as part of ‘Occur’ have been re-cast from curiously shaped Avon perfume bottles made in the early 1970’s. Through the creation of a mould these functional scent holders are given new life as pure white ceramics. By removing the colour, transparency and function of the original form only the memory of the shape remains.
Occur, 2012
Marianna O’Reilly
Marianna O’Reilly‘s ‘28’ is a humorous narrative focusing on the mouth as a tool for expression and teeth as instruments for possible aggression, questioning its strength of bite as well as breaking down and assimilating knowledge as metaphorical food.
PsychoanalYSL (Joey Holder, Benjamin Orlow and Christopher Thomas) present a 3D simulation of ‘The Solution’, an environmental super-sculpture that contains experimental environmental technologies developed by physicists investigating ‘dark flow’. ‘The Solution’ comprises a computer powered by a neon liquid that generates a light fog. When breathed in by visitors who then take the ‘air’ out into the world, this purifying fog will clean the sky and thereby save the planet.
Sam Zealey
Sam Zealey‘s practice attempts to make an uncommon experience common in a controlled situation by constructing ‘Potential Energy Sculptures’ that perform microcosms of our universe. He takes on the role of an artist, scientist and engineer, translating the ordinary into the impossible, recreating scientific and celestial phenomena out of spinning tops, magnets, vacuum cleaners and running machines.
Sculpture Show Closing Event!
Sat 24 March, 6.30 – 9.30
Join the Construction Gallery Team and the artists exhibting in Sculpture Show to celebrate the culmination of our glorious first three-month run and the closing of this exciting and high calibre group exhibition.
Emer O’Brien                                    
Performance of ‘Barbara’
Emer O’Brien has an enduring interest in the passage of time.  Her work is a meditative combination of analogue photography, film and installation.  She is best known for works that mediate on the redundancy of human artifacts when deserted by man or things; once known, now unfathomable in their mystery. 

Retreat 2012

back from rural cumbria. out of range for a week: no cellie, no internet. roaming in the hills. big communal evening meals. night time presentations about each others practices. nourishing debate, gorgeous generousness, support and respect. plus lot’s of laughter and hi-jinx. can’t wait til next year.

I really enjoyed the content of presentations particularly this year. Good hearty discussions about politics and the social responsibilities of artists.

Thanks to Michael Whitby for making it all possible.

Kate Lepper’s News

Some recent news:

This January I took part in a performance series at Guest Projects in Hackney, London, as part of the exhibition ‘Circa 1960′. The series was titled ‘Ciao! Modernism’ and was curated by John Walter ( ) and Anna Bunting Branch ( ).
Nastja Ronkko ( ) & I performed our new piece ‘Soil Brick Soil’. Here is an online link to the exhibition:
I have also been invited to complete a one month residency at Meantime Project Space, in Cheltenham, UK, this coming June which I am very excited about.
For those who have not caught up on my news of late here is a run down of recent projects:
Last year I took part in two shows. The most recent was at the Pumphouse Gallery, in London:
and the other, at the Edith Gallery in Whanganui:
the latter exhibition coincided with a paper delivered at an Australian National University conference by Professor Jen Webb, from the University of Canberra:
Here are a couple of highlights since moving to London to do my MFA at the Slade:
In the first year I won a prize from the UCL Graduate School:
In my second year I was awarded the Thomas Scholarship by the Slade School of Fine Art, and gained a Distinction when I finally finished my MFA last June.
This is our Slade graduate online page:
For the time being I’m keeping close ties with NZ whilst running a studio in London.
I look forward to keeping up with all your news.

Best wishes,