The Rise and Fall of the Commanding Personality
PEER Residency, London, UK
14 January - 14 April 2013
London-based and Georgian born Semeiko's primary activity is as a painter, but his interest lies in the complex construction of narrative installations that call upon the language of satire and the absurd through his work with writers and performers.
Semeiko has collaboratively employed the wordsmithing skills of writer and curator Sally O'Reilly and Russian novelist and broadcaster Zinovy Zinik, to concoct an array of references from which this project has evolved. Semeiko has identified intriguing kernels of historical information from the local area, which have sown seeds of free-associative and swashbuckling fancy.
One starting point has been an episode in Hoxton's history when, in 1597 Ben Jonson purportedly killed fellow-actor Gabriel Spenser during a duel in a field on which now stands a council housing estate to the rear of PEER. Another rich seam that Semeiko has mined comes from his historical research into the life of Sir Thomas Tresham, a fanatical catholic who was held under house arrest at around the time of the fatal encounter between Jonson and Spencer on the spot where PEER now stands.
Discussions between Semeiko, O'Reilly and Zinik began with these two events, and then evolved and morphed into musings that span triangles, substantiation, rubbish chutes, drunkenness and scaffolding. Collapsing past, present and fictional Hoxton, O'Reilly and Zinik have produced texts that are being adapted by Felix Mortimer of Retz theatre company into short vignettes to be enacted by Bill Bingham at the beginning and end of the open studio week. This exercise in elaboration, excavation, embellishment and exegesis will be further explored throughout the open studio week.
An artist book The Holy Triangle has been published and launched by PEER and Waterstones as part of the residency. The book is available to read and download from here >
A hard-copy of The Holy Triangle is available from all good art bookshops, Waterstones Piccadilly, London and Amazon £6.70 (+£2.80 delivery) >