Southard Reid is proud to present Night Flies by Prem Sahib.
Night Flies is conceived by Sahib as one of a series of interlinked exhibitions and works this year, beginning in January with his spinning lil’ white lies about his crepuscular time in Yellow as part of the White Cubicle project at The George and Dragon pub in east London. For this Sahib installed a frosted glass door in to the toilet cubicle, and yellow fluorescent lights within the cubicle – the door, and the light beyond, creating a view through which one could see into the toilet space, as well as setting up a dual practical and ‘art’ experience for its occupants, bathed in the yellow light.
The starting point for Night Flies, which follows on from his RA Schools Graduate Show in June, was Sahib’s occupation of Southard Reid’s gallery space as a studio over the summer, using it as a self-styled residency. During this time Sahib staged the Club Night, BUMP, where through a series of interventions - building a bar and DJ booth, carpeting the upper gallery/dancefloor, theatrical lighting of the two floors of the gallery spaces and collaborations with DJs, in particular Jeffrey Hinton – the gallery space became a Soho club for a night. With no individual artwork shown at BUMP, as an event, it was also a source for the Night Flies show and Sahib’s forthcoming presentation at Frame, Frieze London.
BUMP remnants participate in Night Flies – the neon sign outside the gallery, the bar (now back to functioning as a gallery office space), the carpet in the upstairs gallery. Part of the conceptual basis of the exhibition is its drawing on and extending the idea of the hangover following the party.
Night Flies continues Sahib’s interest in materials and form, the evocation of emotion from cleanly economical but often suggestive or personified arrangements as discrete sculptures that are also set up to be in dialogue with one another. The works in the downstairs gallery develop from Sahib’s practice of using ubiquitous materials, such as ceramic bathroom tiles, the lone black-tiled tower Crew Cut, the generic ‘uniform’ of puffer jackets framed between two glass sheets in Rumble and a concrete cast football that appears to have been kicked or rolled in from the outside, Stray I. Night Flies also includes a new series of tile works ‘Your Shine Against Mine’ in jesmonite, their painted midnight blue surfaces pierced by fake diamond earrings arranged in constellation–like compositions.
The upper gallery continues the show’s discussion with the space itself, its feel of domesticity and intimacy, further supported by the BUMP relic carpet, flesh-toned and bearing its party marks and stains. A sculpture based on a pair of nesting tables, House Bound, a video projection Another Night, made from Sahib’s father’s VHS recording of fireworks in their garden during Sahib’s childhood, and the work Night Flies, a crash mat, stretched lethargically across the carpet, with one end leaning up against a headboard/plinth, that in turn supports a glass of water - the three works’ occupy their distinct forms and placement within the gallery space but also speak to one another, almost as an installation of co-existent still lifes. With the lights switched off the viewing of the upper gallery space changes depending on what time of day or night it is seen.
Prem Sahib will be showing at Frame, Frieze London, with Southard Reid.
Night Flies is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with a text by Victor Buchli, and a transcript conversation between Charlie Porter and Sahib.
Prem Sahib was born in London in 1982. He graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions include Back Chat, Lorcan O'Neill Gallery, Rome, 2013, Home From Home, Arts & Jobs, London, He Looked Me Up, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam, and FEEL UP in collaboration with Eddie Peake, Southard Reid, London, 2012. Group exhibitions include Abstract Cabinet, David Roberts Foundation London, Days In Lieu, David Zwirner, London, 2013. Performances include Woman to Woman, Gallery Vela, London, 2012, Bijou, IBID Projects, London, and Darkroom with Eddie Peake, Vogue Fabrics, Take Courage London 2011. He lives and works in London.