Saint Bartholomew the Great
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Friday, June 29, 2018
Cloth Fair, London EC1A 7JQ
India Murphy


29 June – 1 July

The Priory Church of Saint Bartholomew the Great

Fragment brings the works of Elena Unger and Sophie Sleigh-Johnson to the cloister of the Priory Church of Saint Bartholomew the Great. The show bridges the sacred and secular to expose the limits of human time frames through the shared atemporal teleology of the works and the church. The exhibition will feature a new performance from Sleigh-Johnson on the 29th, with sculptures, icons, and paintings from Unger on display until July 1st  in the oldest extant church in London.

The works of Unger and Sleigh-Johnson each challenge the boundaries separating the material and the immaterial. Each artist sets up camp at the edge of phenomenal experience, moving outward into the unknown. Unger’s paintings combine meticulous detail and expressive brushwork, calling back to Persian miniatures and Romantic painting. Her works serve as diagrams, acting as a form of exegesis for systemic philosophical enquiry. Sleigh-Johnson’s performances and sound works invoke absent figures and times through spoken text. Building on intensive, sight-specific research, her performances open the present to alternate temporalities in which the past can be presenced. In addition to lecturing at Goldsmiths, University of London, Sleigh-Johnson has previously exhibited her work at Arcadia Missa, Focal Point Galley, and the ICA.

From its origins in a prophetic vision to the numerous recorded instances of ghosts and Marian apparitions, the history of Saint Bartholomew’s exceeds the limits of linear time. Through the unification of Unger, Sleigh-Johnson, and the church itself, Fragment looks to visions, invocations, and rituals to conduct experiments in the disruption of time.  The exhibition articulates the connection between the artists and the church as a common orientation towards ruptures within time, in which an ineffable whole is expressed to the viewing subject as a fragment.

Fragment is generously supported by Ms. Better’s Bitters and JBE Imports, and curated by India Murphy.