Wednesday 31 October 2018

Molybdomancy by Reynir Hutber

Molybdomancy from reynir hutber on Vimeo.

(Commissioned as part of Marcia Farquhar's 'The Dog's Bolex', 2018)

Music improvised by Jem Finer (edited and arranged by Reynir Hutber)

Molybdomancy is a technique of divination using molten metal. Typically molten lead or tin is dropped into water and the resulting shape interpreted as a premonition of the participants future fortune. Familiar shapes create new sculptural propositions as they melt, fall and form in the water. This work took inspiration from the esoteric and trance like films of Kenneth Anger.

Molybdomancy was commissioned as part of Marcia Farquhar's 'The Dog's Bolex' at CGP Gallery, London 2018. Fifteen live performances are interpreted as short films by artists/filmmakers. Participating artists included Benedict Drew, Katherine Araniello, Larry Achiampong, Victoria Harwood and Lucy Newman, Ben Rivers, Gina Birch, Miyako Narita, Tracy Drew, Tom Chick, John Smith, Denna Cartamkhoob, Paul Kelly, Ruth Maclennan, Reynir Hutber, Tony Grisoni.

The Dog’s Bolex was developed by the artist following the 10th anniversary of her critically acclaimed 12 Shooters project from 2007, and is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Live Art Development Agency’s inaugural Art Hole Artists Award.

Monday 16 April 2018


Performance for camera, 2015

Photograph by Sarah Kate Fowler

Sunday 8 January 2017

Live Work, arebyte, 2016

Live Work

arebyte residency 2016

'Hutber uses a series of linear sculptures to propose a notional stage. From within this array of angular wooden beams, stark structures form and drift apart as the viewer's perspective changes. This environment takes inspiration from the hallucinogenic architecture of author JG Ballard's The Enormous Space (1998) and Polanski's seminal film Repulsion (1965) as well as the weightless, geometric quality of computer-generated drawings. Like much of Hutber's work, the installation plays into contemporary and contradictory anxieties around surveillance and visibility: the dread of being watched and the desire to be seen. The gallery is under the constant gaze of a video camera that will stream periodically to the arebyte website. As with a live TV set, the elements have been arranged and installed to privilege the perspective of the camera and the mediated view of an online audience. Little attention has been paid to that which falls outside the frame. Using 'live' online devices, visitors will have the opportunity to observe themselves as protagonists in this disorientating scene, but will never know who else, if anyone, is watching..

Live | Work also responds to the rapid redevelopment of the unique local area and may even foreshadow the impending destruction of the gallery to make way for living spaces.

Continuing arebyte's exploration into the theme of Legal Aesthetics, Live | Work looks at the breaking of physical space, creating new sets of rules taken from architecture, surrealism and drawing. Hutber's proposition looks at the space as a dynamic entity, considering it as simultaneously existing with and without physical and spacial boundaries, creating new realms for performance and perception.

This project is generously supported by Arts Council England.

Press links...

Monday 31 August 2015

'And I', Marcia Farquhar and Reynir Hutber, eight hour single channel video, 2015

And I

Single channel video, 8:00:00:00
Recorded at Matt's Gallery, 2015.
A collaboration between Marcia Farquhar and Reynir Hutber. 
Photograph by Jem Finer taken at Matt's Gallery 2015. 
'And I' was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

‘And I’ is a collaboration between artist and experimental filmmaker, Reynir Hutber, and many-storied artist and notorious orator, Marcia Farquhar. The film is a single-channel eight-hour video of Farquhar speaking without edits of sustained pauses. Her monologue, occasionally interrupted or prompted by Hutber, is improvised and entirely unrehearsed. The work is an act of endurance for the performers and, potentially, the audience who are free to leave and enter the gallery at will. The video, which is the length of a traditional working day raises the notion of thinking, speaking and remembering as forms of unacknowledged labour. ‘And I’ runs for the full period of a galleries’ opening hours and can be played only once in any one location – despite being a document it has the temporary quality of a performance.

The work is based on an original idea by Hutber and draws on the long-durational live works of Farquhar. The work was produced in partnership with the Live Art Development Agency and was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England  ‘And I’ is currently touring the UK.


Wednesday 12 November 2014

Resident artist at Chisenhale Art Place Nov 2014 - Feb 2015

Dead Soldiers/Sleeping Lions (a game for adults)

Chisenhale Art Place

Performer/participant Ben Sassen. Photograph © Reynir Hutber.

January 2015

Supported by the Art's Admin Bursary scheme

Thursday 10 July 2014

ArtsAdmin Bursary 2014

I am proud to have been awarded an Artist's Bursary by ArtsAdmin. More information here

Thursday 23 May 2013

In Dreams at the COB Gallery, Camden

Filming Hang Over at COB Gallery, 2013. Photograph © Sarah Kate Fowler

Hang Over

Site Specific installation

Reinforced gallery rope, Sleeping pills, Artist, Monitor and George Orwell quote 

The Cob Gallery, Camden, UK

June - July 2013

'I have never been there myself, but Bozo has been there often. I asked him whether anyone could possibly sleep in such an attitude, and he said it was more comfortable than it sounded - at any rate, better than the bare floor'

George Orwell from his novel Down and Out in Paris and London

Click here for more information

In Dreams, installation view at the COB Gallery, 2013

Thursday 14 March 2013

Le Prix Cube 2013

Two images of 'Stay Behind the Line', 2014. Image © Reynir Hutber

Stay Behind the Line (Example 4)

Interactive video installation

Le Prix Cube, Saint Saveur, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris, France

March, 2013

Friday 28 September 2012

SPILL National Platform 2012

An audience member interacts with 'Critical Distance'

Critical Distance

Interactive video installation

Ipswich Art School Gallery, Ipswich, UK

November, 2012

Critical distance uses the video collage technique developed for Stay Behind the Line, but focuses on the absent body as a sculptural object. The work is an exploration of absence that hints at the imposition of barriers, motion detectors and surveillance systems to protect and detain, both within the art museum and other forms of institution. It also invokes a romantic construction of the young male artist as illusive, melancholy and other-worldly: a position now mostly lost to art history, protected by the canon and encountered through the document.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Solo exhibition at Grand Union in partnership with Fierce international festival of live art 2012

'...Hutber’s work is a case of the unexpected – a primeval jugular shot of emotion and unease that best showcases what Fierce is all about.' Emily Gosling, Volt Cafe, April 2012

Stay Behind the Line (Example 3)

Interactive video installation, Grand Union, Birmingham, UK

March - April, 2012

'Stay Behind the Line' is an installation that explores notions of ethical deferral and critical detachment and relates them to the proliferation of digitally mediated, monitored and 'manipulated' images in our day to day environments. The piece is also a self-portrait that expresses a sense of being defenseless against, and impervious to, the actions of others.

Three new pieces were also created for my exhibition at Grand Union in response to the location. They are 'painter, 'Blind Sight' and 'Reception'.

From the Fierce festival brochure...

Reynir Hutber (UK)

'Installation exploring mediated images, politics of containment, security and observation.'

'Reynir unites two aspects of live art that seemingly obsess the medium; one, the ongoing concern with the body as site, especially the politics of its vulnerability, the other, engagement with media technology as a means of altering representation and identity. Here he sets up rules that the work demands the audience break, extending his inquiry into regulation, control and self negation.'

Harun Morrison, Fierce Festival co-director

Grand Union Press release

Opening 6–9pm Friday 16 March

Exhibition continues 17 March to 22 April, open Thursday to Sunday, 12–5pm

Grand Union, in collaboration with Fierce, is proud to present work by Reynir Hutber, an emerging artist based in London, whose work explores themes of social visibility, moral relativity and the everyday imposition of authority. For this solo exhibition he will present his award winning installation, Stay Behind the Line, alongside a series of new related works.

Stay Behind the Line is an interactive installation that takes place in a specially constructed cell-like environment. When visitors enter the space through its narrow doorway, they are confronted by a wall-mounted surveillance monitor directly in front of them. They are now looking at a live video feed of the space with their feet placed in the top third of the screen. Further down in this relayed image however, there is a disturbing anomaly: a superimposed recording of the artist’s twitching, naked body that is no longer physically present in the room. What happens next is down to the visitor...

Other works in the exhibition also explore the absence of the performer. Technology is used to infuse the space with a sense of the artist’s presence and blur the division between past and present, spectator and protagonist. Through his works, Hutber addresses issues specific to the history of performance art while simultaneously exploring the anxieties and uncertainties of living in a sophisticated era of surveillance and mediation: an age in which it is becoming increasingly difficult to verify the authenticity of an image.

Fierce Festival, Birmingham’s premier live art and performance festival, runs from Thursday 29 March to Sunday 8 April 2012. Performers from around the world will converge on Birmingham to bring boundary-pushing performances and art installations to venues and unusual spaces across the city. See for full programme listings.


1/1 scale looped video projection of site specific performance, Grand Union, 2012

'Painter' is a surveillance-style recording of the artist obsessively painting/preparing the section of the wall onto which the video would later be projected at a life-size scale. The figure appears to be covering something up while simultaneously creating a space for itself to exist.

Photographs by Harminder Judge, Jaskirt Dhaliwal and Reynir Hutber 2012 for Grand Union and Fierce Festival. All images are subject to copyright. Thanks to everyone at Fierce and Grand Union.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Create an Accident

Thanks to 'Create an Accident' in Greece for featuring my work.

'Create an Accident is an open ongoing platform about the performing and visual arts and theoretical research. Based in Athens, Greece, Create an Accident operates as a non stop lab and open field for experimental, provocative projects and non-existing landscapes.'

Friday 24 June 2011

Artist's Debt at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences

For 'Not Quite a Baker's Dozen' at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences I was invited to submit a proposal that related to the art market and notions of value. Inspired, in part, by Pierre Manzoni's seminal work, Artist's Shit (1961) I chose to exhibit the debt to the state I created while studying art as an 'immaterial' art work. Although three of my proposals were selected for the exhibition by HRL Contemporary two of the works were subsequently declined on the advice of legal experts at the LSE.

Please note that the printed statement that was hung on the gallery wall is not ‘Art’, it is just a legal document that confirms the debt’s existence, authorship and volume.

Artist's Debt

1999 - 2012, Dimensions variable

Full text about Artist's Debt

Thursday 9 June 2011

Fierce Festival start party

A chocolate cake produced by 'Quarantine Theatre' for FIERCE 2011 featuring a quote by composer John Cage.

I will be participating In Fierce Festival, Birmingham in Spring 2012

Tuesday 24 May 2011

The Catlin Art Prize 2011

The Catlin Art Prize 2011

May 19th - 22nd 2011
The Tramshed, Rivington Street, Shorditch
‘The student equivalent of the Turner Prize’
The Independent online Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Thursday 19 May 2011

The Catlin Art Prize 2011

Filming Waiting to Fall at the Catlin Art Prize 2011

Photograph  © Sarah Kate Fowler

Waiting to Fall

(infinite) video of site-specific performance

The Catlin Art Prize 2011, The Tramshed, Shoreditch

May, 2011

'Waiting to Fall' is a site-specific video of myself hanging from one of the Tramshed's vast infra-structure of metal Ibeams. The Tramshed was dissected into a number of cubicles for the exhibition. My space was empty (apart from the screen that showed the performance).

When an audience member approached the screen they were directly beneath the space where I had been hanging. I was holding on by the tips of my fingers like Bas Jan Ader, hanging from the fragile branch of a tall tree in his seminal video 'Fall (Organic)', 1971.

Although my actions may have looked dangerous at first glance, on closer inspection the video revealed itself to be a heavily manipulated document. A short clip had been looped so as to extend the expectation of the fall forever and was framed so as to conceal all health and safety precautions. Because of the low resolution of the digital video it was hard to know if the event had actually taken place at all or if the image was a collage contrived in post production. 

Tuesday 16 November 2010

For Life Series (2010 - 2012)

The Endless Press Up,

Single channel video intended for endless loop

August, 2010

'The Endless Press Up' is one of a series of videos in which a short performance by the artist is seamlessly looped to create ‘false’ evidence of an excruciating and ultimately impossible act of endurance or resistance. For example, in this work, I appear to perform the action of the title indefinitely. Although one may initially be entertained by the illusion, over time the figure can come to resemble a mechanised object, trapped in a Beckettian cycle of absurd, repetitive and pointless struggle: a subject being trained, disciplined or punished.

Stand Up Straight

Looped video. Filmed at Green Fields studio, Leipzig, Germany. February, 2012

Thursday 12 August 2010

Collaborators2, 10th September - 17th October 2010

Press Release

Stay Behind the Line 2010

Covert performance document, Framed A2 print, Edition of 5, POA, Availible through R O O M Gallery, London.

Friday 30 July 2010

Reynir Hutber and Toby Huddlestone at R O O M Gallery, London

Stay Behind the Line (Example 2)

Video Installation, R O O M Gallery, London, UK

June - July, 2010

In this example of the work, a low resolution CCTV camera allowed visitors to view the installation space before they entered it. What the visitors on the other side of the barrier were actually seeing, and reacting to, was not revealed and from this 'outsider' perspective their behaviour may have appeared haunted and irrational. A white spotlight marked out the parameters of the space where my body was recorded and also had the effect of illuminating the visitors in a strange and spectral light as they reached towards its ‘mirage’. For more information about this project please see below…

Click for more images at R O O M, London

Tuesday 29 June 2010

'Open' Magazine Interview

'Some people have chosen to cover the figure with their jackets to keep it warm or have tried to feed it. Others have reacted in a way that speaks of serious sexual abuse or gang violence.'

Click here to read an interview with Reynir in 'OPEN' magazine.

Monday 17 May 2010

Reynir is awarded the Catlin Art Prize 2010

'Artist Reynir Hutber is named as Catlin Art Prize winner by eminent panel of judges as collectors flock to purchase shortlisted works.In the most exciting year yet for the Catlin Art Prize, collectors vied for the opportunity to purchase work by some of the most inspiring new names in visual art. Featuring painting, sculpture, film and performance work, the prize provides a platform for artists who have graduated the previous year.'

Judge Ben Lewis commented: ‘...Reynir’s video installation, which turned the viewer into a perpetrator with an unmistakeable reference to Iraqi and Afghani prisons, eventually won out over the rest, thanks to its combination of pressing political urgency yet modest and un-theatrical form, and the relational way it turned the position of the viewer into the real subject of the piece.’

Reynir said of his work: ‘My current art is broadly concerned with the devices through which social behaviour is coerced, monitored and evaluated. Rather than focus on the production of objects, I stage open-ended scenarios whose implications are ultimately determined by the audience’s response and interaction. I am hugely excited to have won the Catlin Art Prize, especially as the other work on show was of such a high standard.’

Quote from

Stay Behind the Line

Interactive video installation,The Village Underground, London, UK

May, 2010

"In a small enclave to the back of Shoreditch’s Village Underground, a video screen captures artist Reynir Hutber’s naked body lying curled into a ball on the floor. A haunting evocation of surveillance culture, Hutber’s Stay Behind the Line won the Catlin Art Prize, a selection of over 500 young artists selected by curator Justin Hammond from last year’s graduate art show program."

"The screen mixes footage of Hutber twitching with a live-feed of the screen’s viewers. It’s only upon seeing one’s movements echoed behind the prone body that one realizes that the space Hutber occupies in the video is the vacant gap right besides you. It’s a subtle and clever exploration of those parts of ourselves we lose within the media watching us."

Dont Panic Magazine, Brian Welk, William Alderwick / 17 May 2010

Images © Justin Green photography and Nathan Toper

Tuesday 2 March 2010

New works in Video and Performance

The Eigenheim Gallery in Weimar, Germany

Installation View

The Eigenheim Gallery, Weimar, Germany

February, 2010

Thursday 8 October 2009

Artist's Debt

Artist's Debt

1999 - 2013, Dimensions variable, £8026.65.

Last updated Feb 2010

In the modern global market, debts are traded and sold like assets. A debt has no physical form and yet it exists, undeniably. It is immaterial but also measurable; it has a precise dimension that grows and/or erodes over time. As a young sculptor, I created a debt to the state: a work that would prove to be the most enduring and politically relevant product of my early studies. Inspired, in part, by Pierre Manzoni's seminal work, Artist's Shit (1961), this piece comes with a framed bank statement to verify its conjoined scale and market price. Although ‘Artist’s Debt’ (1999 – 2012) has an intrinsic and increasing monitory value, transferring it to a collector represents a significant economic and artistic challenge; if it were purchased, the work would effectively cease to exist. Please note that the printed statement is not ‘Art’, it is just a legal document that confirms the debt’s existence, authorship and volume. ‘Artist’s Debt’ is a ‘worthless’ piece of conceptual art that continues a broader social interest in the notions of ‘owing’ and being ‘without value’.