Extract of an essay by Edwin Carels for luxonline
At first sight, the artwork of Ann Course provides the opponents of contemporary art with all the easy arguments.
Both her drawing skills and animation technique appear far from sophisticated. Her films look crude, simple and always very much the same. Ann Course makes her film works with the most modest means: drawing with a pencil or a pen on A4-paper, shooting with a simple video camera and often editing, rather than really animating. When things do move, it's usually in short cycles. Her filmPrince (1999) actually consists of just one such repeated movement, the very rudimentary whisking of a dog's tail. This approach is a strategy, rather than a system. Ann Course does not operate by a carefully composed set of rules. She is happy to corrupt the coherency of any film or sequence with an image that disrupts the chain of black lines on white paper. This can be a photograph, a collage; even a glimpse of computer animated movement, like the sudden choreography of autumn leaves in Untitled (2004).
Criteria like' original', 'daring', 'innovative' or 'revelatory' do not really apply to this artist's agenda. Authentic, provocative, archetypal and unconditional are already more appropriate terms. The first thing that hits the eye is the pure or downright brutal honesty that emanates from these simple, but very strong configurations. Superficially, the powerful, bold contours she uses to put her figures down on paper resemble the doodles of a bored schoolboy, who vents his boredom and frustrations in an exercise book or on a school desk. Explicit sexual fantasies, mutilation scenes, grotesque faces, ridiculous transformations and the occasional line or two of cryptic text. And sometimes an abstract figure appears from nowhere. The drawings are apparently made without a purpose in mind, certainly not to please, more as an outlet for Ann Course's own feelings of uneasiness and restlessness. And yet something doesn't quite add up. The drawings transcend their explicit brutality. They express compassion just as much as they conjure up violence.
Artist Bio / CV
Ann Course was born in Watford in 1965 and studied at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art.
Her films and sculptures have been widely screened and exhibited, including Tate Britain, the Rotterdam Film Festival, Oberhausen film Festival and the Whitechapel Gallery, London. She teaches at Central Saint Martins School of Art.
2005 Mercer Union Toronto
1999 Switchspace Glasgow
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2008 Mutti ist böse, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin
2006 The Animators, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, Spacex Gallery, Essex
Ferens Gallery, Hull
2005 Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London
2004 East End Academy, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
2004 A Century Of Artists Film In Britain, Part three, Tate Britain
2004 No Horiszon, Firstsite @ The Minories Art Gallery, Colchester
2004 Free From The Itch of Desire, Butler Gallery, The Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland
2003 Art Now Lightbox, Tate Britain
2003 Which Side Are You On? Kunstraum Walcheturm, Zürich
2002 Connected Images, Tanya Rumpff Gallery, Haarlem Holland
2002 Other Than Film, Tent Centrum Beeldende Kunst, 31st International Film Festival
2002 By Hand, Hales Gallery, London
2001 New England, Lux Gallery, London
2001 Eyes Look Into The Well, Brandenburgischer Kunstverein, Germany
2001 Girl, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, UH Galleries, Hatfield
1999 Girl, The New Art Gallery Walsall
1999 Sweetie, Female Identity In British Video, The British School at Rome, MAN,
Museo d’art Nuoro Italy
1994 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Art Gallery London