Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
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Beck's New Contemporaries '97

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New Contemporaries catalogue
Never More Than This as presented as part of the exhibition catalogue

"...the works that stand out in the show are those that are most fully resolved: Ana Genoves 'Sand Dune' and Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's CD 'Never More Than This', which is possibly the most interesting work here because it problematizes this very 'artist-as-pop-star' syndrome by taking it to its logical, and pitiful, extreme. The CD is born of the notion that educational establishments are not 'critical shelters' any more: they can only reflect (rather than reflect upon) contemporary culture."

Art Monthly

Never More Than This (installation view: Cornerhouse Manchester)
Never More Than This installation view: Cornerhouse Manchester

New Contemporaries, an annual showcase of cutting edge ideas by students and recent graduates from the UK's art schools, was selected in 1997 from over 1,200 applications by international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, cultural theorist Dr. Sarat Maharaj and artist Gillian Wearing. The featured artists were:

Javier Flores Blanquet, Jemima Brown, Sarah Dobai, Keith Farquhar, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Ana Genoves, Chris Gibbons, Pedro Gomes, Dryden Goodwin, Brian Cyril Griffiths, Len Horsey, Katherine Mckee, Seamus Nicolson, O (Amy Cheung), Steve Ouditt, Frankie Sinclair, Stephen Stephen

The resulting exhibition toured the UK throughout 1997 and featured Never More Than This, an audio CD project by Iain and Jane. Visitors to the exhibition were able to hear the disc at listening stations located within the galleries. The single was also cover-mounted on the exhibition catalogue.

"Obviously, the next step for many artists working in and around the pop arena is the production of their own music. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard have made a CD single, Never More Than This, as their contribution to this year's New Contemporaries exhibition; directing a group of musicians into making a boy bandesque track that belies their status as total indie kids and offers dance remixes. Unnervingly polished, it is their first attempt at writing songs."

i-D Magazine

Newsnight video still
Newsnight video still
Newsnight video still
Newsnight video still
Newsnight video still
Newsnight video still
Newsnight interview with Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard [stills: BBC 2]

Described as "dum-dum music" by The Evening Standard's Brian Sewell and a "mediocre pop CD" by Adrian Searle in The Guardian, the single gained radio play from Greater Manchester Radio, BBC Radio Scotland and Kiss FM.

"Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard have created a work that breaks many of the prevailing assumptions about visual art. It is an aural piece, it is endlessly reproducible, and involved in the artists becoming producers of a mainstream commodity. They made an audio CD - a pop song. Compact discs do not degrade as copies are drawn, thus countering the notion of artwork as valuable because of its singularity. Like all pop music, it is intended to be accessible to a lay public rather than a specialised minority. However, Iain and Jane's status as visual artists makes their appropriation of the processes of production an interesting exercise. By drawing from youth culture and their own adolescence as pop music fans, and by taking on the tasks of learning how to dissect and reproduce something which fulfills the criteria of the pop music industry, they played the roles of entrepreneur, performer and producer simultaneously. It is not so much a critique of the pop music industry as an exploration of it, and perhaps one of the most playful and self-conscious manifestations of the artist-as-pop-star syndrome."

CCA Exhibitions Guide: Never More Than This

Never More Than This

Beck's New Contemporaries '97
70 Oxford Street
Manchester M1 5NH

May - July 1997

Touring to:

Camden Arts Centre
Arkwright Road
London NW3 6DG

August - September 1997


Centre for Contemporary Arts
350 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow G2 3JD

December 1997 - January 1998

For more information, visit the New Contemporaries web site:



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Never More Than This

MP3 audio iconNever More Than This
(original mix) 4.40

MP3 | RealAudio stream

MP3 audio iconNever More Than This
(Regional Space) 6.26

MP3 | RealAudio stream

MP3 audio iconNever More Than This
(Shoe to a Goose) 6.06

MP3 | Real Audio stream

Work in this show
Never More Than This

Related work
If I can't change your mind

Related press
'Pop Art' - i-D Magazine

Related sites
New Contemporaries
Cornerhouse Manchester
Camden Arts Centre
CCA Glasgow
The Thirds

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