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Nottingham Trent University’s Bonington Gallery announces exhibition by art collective Reactor

Bonington Gallery is delighted to welcome Reactor back following its residency in 2021. Here, the Gold Ones flatter (2022) is an audio-video installation that combines digital animation, mobile sculpture and choreographed performance.

Reactor Exhibition logo
Reactor Exhibition

Reactor is a Nottingham-based collective, comprising Nottingham Trent University Fine Art alumni Susie Henderson (1999), Niki Russell (2001) and an undisclosed number of secret members.

Their residency, Here, the Gold Ones meet (2021), transformed the gallery into the Cosmic Care Home (CCH). This performance-fiction was inhabited by characters collectively known as the Gold Ones – an undetermined cohort of higher spiritual beings that exist across time. Although supposedly existing on a higher astral plane, the place they inhabit resembles what sociologist Erving Goffman would describe as a ‘total institution’; cut off from a wider community, they lead a bureaucratically controlled existence watched over by an elusive staff of 'Helping Hands'.

Here, the Gold Ones flatter describes what came before, long before and well after, the CCH existed. This exhibition posits a type of ‘origin story’ and offers the opportunity to encounter proto-versions of the nine Gold Ones, as they develop their identities and engage in protracted dialogue about the formation of their World. Conflicts, rejection, and ejection out into other Worlds ensue. Animation, audio and sculptural objects within the gallery offer different modes of engaging with and understanding this origin story.

For one day only a choreographed performance, The life of the models, will inhabit the gallery. When the time is right the Helping Hands gather, to wear particular models (the mobile sculptures within the exhibition) and perform a ritual dance to call forth the Gold Ones. The path of the models follows predetermined lines across the floor and over-cycles they loop around the onlookers who can watch from within the corral at the centre of the gallery.

It is happening again.

Here, the Gold Ones were.

We’ve heard that before.

But this time it was flatter.

So, as we were saying.

It’s an original story.

No, this is an origin story.

Everyone already knows this.

Everywhen, here and there.

This is what we always said.

Mis-shaped and not in proportion.

As though seen for the first time.

– Manen’cha, (Here, the Gold One flatter)

The broader Gold Ones universe can be seen to function as what French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux terms ‘extro-Science Fiction’ – a type of cosmic-anthropology that explores new patterns of living. Through video, performances, sculpture and video games, we get to know each of the Gold Ones intimately, becoming familiar with their intra-relations and myriad woo-woo beliefs. As is common to Reactor’s work, the logic of the Gold Ones contains multiple ruptures, and traverses a spectrum that ranges from narrative coherence to absurd nonsense.

The exhibition commences on Saturday 26 March until Saturday 21 May 2022. A preview event is taking place on Friday 25 March from 5-8pm. If you would like to attend this event please RSVP.

Reactor’s performance, The life of the models, will take place on Saturday 7 May, 10am-4pm.

For more information on this exhibition, visit

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    About Reactor

    Through ongoing research into belief systems and their place in collective action, Reactor explores how common beliefs hold together specific social groups. Each project – from a utopic community in a small rural Scottish village, to a Big Lizard Fun Bus touring cities across Europe – creates a different social microcosm with its own internal symbols, logic and meaning.

    Over twenty years Reactor has completed numerous commissions, working in the UK with organisations such as Grizedale Arts (Cumbria), Castlefield Gallery (Manchester) and internationally with MoMA (New York), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), MoBY (Tel Aviv), Donau Festival (Krems) and Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt). The Gold Ones (2015-)  has resulted in solo presentations at xero, kline & coma (London), Gallery North (Newcastle), a public art commission at Plymouth Art Weekender (Plymouth), and performances at Radar (Loughborough), Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo), Wysing Arts Centre (Cambridge), Southwark Park Galleries (London) and Kunstraum (London).

    About Bonington Gallery

    Bonington Gallery was established in 1969 as part of the modernist purpose-built School of Art & Design Bonington Building at Nottingham Trent University.

    Situated at the heart of the art-school, the Gallery is surrounded by a wide range of creative disciplines, with strong connections across several academic departments. Whilst the core association of the Gallery is one of contemporary visual art, the resident context drives an artistic programme that unifies a range of artistic, cultural and research practices. This has enabled the gallery to form a unique identity within the regional cultural landscape, whilst establishing a broader critical context associated with reflecting and exploring artistic production and its relationship to wider societal discourse. The Gallery programmes three exhibitions per academic year, accompanied by a prolific public events schedule of talks, screenings and seminars.

    The gallery has organised and housed several important exhibitions over the years including Mirage Enigmas of Race, Difference and Desire, 1996 (including Sonia Boyce, Glenn Ligon and Steve McQueen) and BT New Contemporaries, 1992 (including Tacita Dean and Permindar Kaur). Recently we have developed solo exhibitions with Giorgio Sadotti, Sara MacKillop, Dick Jewell, Ruth Angel Edwards and group projects with The Community, Paris, The Serving Library and Nottingham Black Archive.

    Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, School of Art & Design, Bonington building, Dryden Street, Nottingham NG1 4GG

    Opening hours: Mon – Fri, 10 am – 5 pm; Sat, 11 am – 3 pm

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    NTU was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards). It was the University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is one of the UK’s largest universities, with over 33,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 4,000 and an NTU community representing around 160 countries.

    In the past 15 years, NTU has invested £450 million in tools, technology and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2019 UCAS UG acceptance data) It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    75% of NTU students go on to graduate-level employment or graduate-entry education / training within fifteen months of graduating (Guardian University Guide 2021).

    NTU is 4th globally (and 3rd in the UK) for sustainability in the 2021 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Nottingham Trent University’s Bonington Gallery announces exhibition by art collective Reactor

Published on 21 March 2022
  • Category: Curated & Created; Press office

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