selected press and reviews


Folkestone Triennial Publication, Book: Vernacular Folk, published by Club Shepway, June 2012


Memory, solo show
Time Out
All in London
Cultural Memory Archives
Whitechapel Gallery
Great British Life
Tower Hamlets Arts

Art For our Time
El Eberico


Daily Telegraph


Rush & Fossil, solo show
Danish Radio7 interview
Jyderup Press, Denmark


Cannes in a Wardrobe, solo show
Daily Telegraph


Feel, solo show
Essay, Transcendence of Cynicism


Time Out


Speak Out or Concent
Time Out
Jewish Chronicle
Spectrum Radio
Girl About Town


Viva Iguana
Time Out
Evening Standard, Hot Tickets
Hackney Gazette

Under My Skin
Time Out
Capital Gay

Art 4 Our Time
El Ebérico
Vienes, 09 de diciembre de 2011 00:00, Joe Boeta

Rebeca Feiner es directora de cine y artista en instalaciones. Ha hecho muestras a nivel internacional casi siempre en lugares insólitos como cámaras de seguridad de bancos, huecos de ascensores o, como en su último trabajo llamado Memoria, en el campanario de 183 años de la iglesia de St John's en Bethnal Green.

Ahora presenta ART 4 OUR TIME (raising a shekel) en el East End de Londres, en Hackney Wick. Una empobrecida zona industrial a la sombra del gran proyecto olímpico que considera de dudoso beneficio para los vecinos ya que sus muros de alta seguridad y deleznables blue gates han dividido Hackney Wick por la mitad. Este evento de un solo día responde a la propia recesión que viven los artistas, a los apuros económicos propios y de la clase trabajadora. No habrá entonces tonos silenciosos ni etiqueta de galería alguna, simplemente tocará música y creará diversión donde normalmente encontramos reverencia.

ART 4 OUR TIME será en parte exposición y en parte mercado donde la artista venderá arte a partir de 99 peniques así como sus ropas y sus libros.

Se proyectarán también a lo largo del día algunos de sus cortos (Wardrobe Cinema) como Skoda goes to Cannes filmado con ocasión del festival de Cannes en su edición de 2003.

Conoce más sobre Feiner en Spirit of Hackney Wick from Rebecca Feiner on Vimeo.
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Daily Telegraph - january 2008 - by Rebecca Feiner

Your Musical Motorcycle Challenge

In the name of art, Rebecca Feiner drew sweet engine music from bored teenage scooterists in Denmark. Now it's your turn...

The composer Karlheinz Stockhausen might have been regarded as radical for his love of discordant noise, but you don't have to be a paid-up member of the musical avant-garde to appreciate the characteristic sound of a Ducati or the meaty roar of a Harley-Davidson, so distinctive that the company actually tried to patent it. Motor manufacturers are very aware that our relationship with engines has always been both psychological and physical and far more complex than a simple appreciation of the motive power required to take us from A to B. They recognise the significance of sound in what is sometimes an illusory experience of speed, and a great deal of time, effort and money is spent in creating the right exhaust note. The technology might be available to make vehicles as silent as cats, but they would be dangerous for all road users, especially pedestrians. What's more, they would be no fun. Who wants a Ducati (or a Ferrari 430, a Jaguar XK or a Mazda MX-5 for that matter) that sounds like an electric milk float?

The sonic appeal of motorcycle engines was certainly not what the aristocrat Jens Henrik Jespersen had in mind in 1862 when he built Solyst, a secluded lakeside hunting lodge in Jyderup, Denmark. But 145 years on it has become a centre for intercultural dialogue and the Solyst International Art Residency (SAIR) programme, and as a participating artist with an interest in all things motoring, I was about to give Jespersen's ghost a loud wake-up call by instigating the Rush exhibition, aiming to celebrate the ritual territorialism of local youth as they mapped out their home town on their beloved scooters.

Beyond the picturesque Solyst, which locals call "the castle", Jyderup is a small town consisting of neat rows of modest houses built on completely flat terrain around a series of interconnecting car parks and discount supermarkets, with a single-track railway slicing noisily through its quiet heart. In such an isolated place, where the cinema was turned into a washing-machine shop several years ago, my sympathies lay with the baggy-trousered teenagers who let their neighbours know that there was still some life in the town. Their two-wheeled displays were regarded as nothing more than noise pollution by many residents, but to the kids they were a song of liberation.

One element of the exhibition would be filmed in the grounds of Solyst, where the scooter engines would be played at full throttle to explore their musical attributes. This would be contrasted with a presentation of the scooter boys and their bikes in almost static video portraits, conveying a stately dignity reminiscent of formal 19th-century photographs of Danish nobles and their hunting dogs.

As an outsider who spoke no Danish, creating such an event was a huge challenge. I not only had to win the disaffected youngsters' trust but gain access to the disused interior of the railway station where they usually congregated, obtain permission to hold the exhibition there, design posters and frame pictures, edit video footage, blag projectors and monitors, all on a zero budget. It would have been impossible without the support of SAIR's ever-enthusiastic Tina Bundgaard Qudenbaum, her industrious assistant Henrik Andersen and Mr Fixit, Svend-aage Larsen of the Art Workshop of West Zealand (

On the appointed day, my arrival at the railway station with journalists from Danish radio and the local paper, Folkebladet, in tow was pretty embarrassing. Despite their initial interest, none of the scooter boys had actually turned up. Frantic phone calls established that the promotional posters had been interpreted as a police trap for illegal machines and riders, as a recent local crackdown had already led to arrests and the confiscation of several mopeds.

Yet amid the chaos, against all the odds, the scooter boys were eventually persuaded to emerge and participate, scoring several firsts: the first art exhibition ever held in the town and the first opportunity to find positive potential in something that had been regarded as a social problem.

Nature has blessed other towns with more spectacular landscapes and better climates, but the true test of a place and its people is when you're up against it, have no money and can appeal only to the inhabitants' imagination, generosity of spirit, tolerance and co-operation.

My sincere thanks therefore go to Hans Erik Baagland, who backed the concept from the start and gave access to the upper floors of the railway station for the exhibition, sealing the deal with minimal fuss and a firm handshake, to the Experts TV shop's Anders Baagland, who supplied all the audiovisual equipment, to Folkebladet's intrepid reporter Mikkel Schou, to Trina of Danish radio, who kindly covered the whole escapade, to the SAIR programme ( - and, most of all, to the young scooterists of Jyderup.
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Danish Radio - Channel 7 - Audio interview with Rebecca Feiner.

Rush Intervew from R Feiner on Vimeo.
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Cannes in a Wardrobe
Variety - may 2003 - by Shalini Dore click to view

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Cannes in a Wardrobe
Daily Telegraph - august 2003 - by Peter Hall click to view

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Transcendence of Cynicism - by Stephan White

A former bank vault: a turntable for bullion lorries, a gold bath behind iron bars, a death certificate, shredded documents and seashore pebbles, an old wardrobe, the distant jingle of an ice-cream van, and a disused lift shaft.

A castle, formerlly a prison: a simple wooden chair, a violin, train bogies filled with music cases, concave mirrors, smashed bricks.

The first paragraph contains elements from work by Feiner, the second work by Horn.

Both artists share a first name, both artists are women and both women have close knowledge of the consequences of a particular brand of facism directed against Jews. Neither artist was aware of the other whilst producing her installations. The comparisons are loose, because the connection is not about intellect or pallette, but effect.

The aforementioned elements are normally everyday things, but they are not "normal" in and of themselves, a simple fact that is often forgotten and a paradox at the heart of both artists' work. The physical object is signed just as arbitrarily as in language.

In Horn's " Concerto for Buchenwald", empty violin cases signify unplayed music, a metaphor of death encased in the desire for life, of the destruction of the potential for beauty. It is this spatial, filmic and literary analysis of the physical signs of life, remembered as feelings, which make the work so powerful. Films, books, expostions or discussions will not in themselves create as personal a space for the sharing of emotions as this kind of super textual-installation.

The beginning of this effect is that the work seems instantly comprehensible. It is not that it is understood immediately, but that it does not appear to require much effort. The work is conceptual not in the sense that it attempts to win a theorectical challenge or discussion, but in the way it simply makes present, the stuff of the world, emotional material that some have given up as inexpressible.

Once redundant and empty, an underground bank vault becomes a strange, silent room with heavy doors, gates and locks. In Feiner's "Speak Out or Consent!" installation, it makes a slightly desperate attempt to be a respectable, white washed gallery space. But when a gold bath is glimpsed behind iron bars, a terrible, daunting sense of forboding is released and a dark and difficult tale unfolds. The title and text of the work demand to be listened to and heard-there is no way to ignore her-yet there is no demand to be noticed; you enter the installation through an ordinary, domestic, front door. The demands of "Speak Out or Consent!" are a challenge to the victim in all of us.

This is similar to the challenge of Horn's "Concerto for Buchenwald", where the charm and release of its intensity of subject matter lies in the fact that, despite its grandeur and inherent resistence, it will allow you to dismiss it if it does not speak to you. Its resistence is personal, and loving, because love is seen as the only triumph over any kind of facism.

In both cases, if we discuss meanings, psychoanalyse and intellectualise, we miss the point: we forget to feel, to love and, most importantly for Feiner, to share and express those feelings. Hers is an art that tries to communicate rather than befuddle, confuse or obfusicate. It is ultimately unasthetic, which is not to say that it is unconcerned with beauty but that its artifice is transparent and theatrical, requiring a suspension of disbelief or, rather, a transcendence of cynicism. It is a visceral and performative transcendence that has a romantic feel. Yet by not idealising, it quietly questions common customs and assumptions about the signs of negativity in our world.

The success of Feiner's installations and video work is that they deal in this realm of the conventional, the popular, the everyday. Though the media of carefully selected and found objects, recorded in video or brought whole into the gallery, subtly transformed by context, juxtatposition and tailoring, she makes objects, signs and sounds simultaneously transform the way we see the gallery or installation space while becoming an art that is going-to -work at - home, because it evokes the familiar, the family of things, people and spaces that create the world of deepest feelings, and workmanlike because every element in a Feiner installation struggles hard for its life, for its voice.

All the objects, materials, clips and photographs are made to fulfil their greatest potential, not least because of the grand scale and low budgets of her work. The process of creation of a Feiner installation plays an important part in the directness of the ambition, they are created in a constant fight against the ambivalent continuity of the world.

In some ways the work is a careful collection of piquant continuity errors, which tell the tale, through observed slippages, the things that the artifice of production values was trying desperately to remove or cover up. In contrast, the video pieces present this mortal coil's most forgotten triumphs in a seamless production of beautiful images, whose ultimate challenge to the viewer is: "Why weren't you watching this?Its all under your nose".

None of this occurs in a far away dreamland, a fantasy of change or transcendence. There is a direct and extremely intelligent attempt to bring to life some of the repressed feelings and thoughts we all have, but through a dialogue of the heart, not the mind.

That is not to say that it lacks humour, mischief or a dark side. It speaks of pain, even torture, and sometimes it steams with anger. It is proud and cheap. It is never too subtle to be bold, never too loud to not be heard, and always felt. Heartfelt, but not romantic: it is an art of the change of now and it talks to us without voice, resonating in our bodies as feelings. Feelings sometimes terrible and uncomfortable, sometimes joyous and flippant, but feelings which we might otherwise dismiss-at our peril-as mere feelings.
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Skylarking inc No.1

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Speak Out or Consent
Time Out - september 1999 - by Mark Currah

Rebecca Feiner mixes the confessional style of Tracy Emin with the objectivity of American conceptualist, Joseph Kosuth.

Pages reproduced from the artist's diary share space with enlarged copies of dictionary definitions. The diary entries hint at a harrowing history of child abuse. They also record a moment of self-empowerment, of a growing determination to expose her hidden history; the show's title is 'Speak Out or Consent'. Overcoming her own inhibitions was not the only obstacle: a previous version of the installation was trashed by members of her family and this piece comes with the protection of a legal injunction.

Given the subject matter, debating aspects of its presentation might seem academic, except that obvious care has been taken in juxtaposing images and text. Photographs show a suburban street, a pretty child grinning at the camera and a young woman. In one family snap, the faces of two adolescent boys are highlighted; alongside it is Feiner's handwritten text implicating two of her brothers as perpetrators of the abuse. The ordering of the information is powerfully achieved not as an appeal for sympathy, but as an excercise in the politics of presentation. The effect would be greater still without the overly theatrical elements. There's a bath behind bars (the 'bathroom was the only door in our house with a lock on') and sounds of heavy breathing emanating from a blackened room. Nonetheless, Feiner's installation is effective and has been achieved in spite of obvious personal risk.
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Under My Skin
Capital Gay newspaper

Aiming to put the bite back into fringe theatre, Rebecca Feiner's new play, Under My Skin, tackles an intriguing subject with a new dynamic designed to shock audiences out of their bourgeois expectations.

The two-hander centres around a man with an unhealthy preoccupation for respectability who becomes confronted with his alter ego and finds the layers of falsehood in which he has cocooned himself being peeled away.

The truth he has hidden from himself for many years begins to reveal itself. The plays runs at the White Bear Theatre until the end of this month.
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