This is Not This: Rabbit Island Residency Exhibition 2018


Aug 24 2018 - Nov 04 2018

This is Not This: Jasmine Johnson and Rachel Pimm Rabbit Island Artists in Residence Exhibition

This exhibition is part of an annual series that presents the work of artists who have participated in the Rabbit Island artists in residence program. THIS IS NOT THIS makes interrelations between a formula for painting with electricity and the Newberry Tablet, an ancient artifact found (or forged) in the 1890s during the Upper Peninsula copper rush by a sign painter, in the form of a carved stone tablet which is said to prove Pre-Columbian contact with Europe.

The title refers to a part of the dialogue spoken to us in an interview with William Peek (curator of the Forte De Buade Museum in St. Ignace, MI, which houses the remains of the Newberry Tablet). Excusing its inaccuracy, he scrunched up a crappy paper photocopy of hand-drawn symbols from the tablet’s now illegibly degraded ‘surface’. “This isn’t this. This isn’t this” he said. He pointed to a hand-drawn swastika on the paper: “I mean come on! I have no idea how this got here, we’ll get you the real scan.” We have isolated the proclamation THIS ISN’T THIS as the single most important moment in capturing the tablet’s continually shifting status between forgery and artifact.

Jasmine Johnson (b. Brighton, 1985 lives in London) works in video, drawing, installation and performance to produce increasingly ambitious portraits of globally dispersed individuals, objects and activities. Solo presentations include: Barbican Public Spaces Commission (forthcoming); Almanac Project Space (London); Eddie Peake’s Hymn Programme (Online); Jerwood Project Space; ANDOR Gallery with MoreUtopia! (both London); ASI & CCI Fabrika (Moscow). Group presentations include: Barbican; Government Art Collection; Bloomberg New Contemporaries (all London); Place des Arts (Montreal); Daata Editions (online); Her work has been screened at Chisenhale Gallery; ICA and Jerwood Presents – Genesis Cinema (all London). Recent residencies include: alt.Barbican Programme; British Council Maker Library Residency, (both London); Rupert, Vilnius. She holds an MFA Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London and a BA Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University where she is now a lecturer.

Rachel Pimm (b. Harare, 1984, lives in London) works in sculpture, video and performance to make work that explores environments and their materialities, histories and politics often from the point of view of non-human agents such as plants, minerals, worms, water, gravity or rubber. Recent Solo presentations include The Whitechapel Bell Foundry with Whitechapel Gallery, London (2018) Hales Gallery, London (2017) Jerwood Space, London (2016) and Zabludowicz Collection (2014). Her work has been included in recent programmes including ANDOR, Tenderpixel, Chisenhale Gallery, Royal Academy, and Serpentine Gallery (all London 2014-2017). Recent Residencies include Hospitalfield, Scotland (2016), and Joya Arte E Ecologia, Spain (2013). She has an MFA from Goldsmiths, was a founder of London project space Auto Italia and lectures in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Art, UAL and Arts University Bournemouth.


The mission of the Rabbit Island Foundation is to advance the culture of art and science on a remote island in Lake Superior.

Rabbit Island is a 91 acre forested island in Lake Superior three miles east of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. The island is composed of a native ecosystem standing upon solid bedrock and has never before been developed or subdivided. Bald eagles nest in the trees and the surrounding waters provide habitat for thriving lake trout and salmon populations. The majority of the island is held under a conservation easement granted by the Keweenaw Land Trust assuring it’s unique ecosystem will remain healthy in perpetuity. Rabbit Island will serve as a platform for science, art, preservation and recreation for the generations.

The Rabbit Island Foundation provides a platform to investigate, expand and challenge creative practices in a remote environment through the Rabbit Island Residency. By living and working on Rabbit Island residents engage directly with the landscape and respond to notions of conservation, ecology, sustainability, and resilience. With the idea that the intelligent organization and celebration of wild spaces is the most civilized thing we can value as society, the residency reflects on the continent’s four hundred year history of settlement and division of land. The island itself an unsettled and undivided space, enables residents to present commentary on these ideas, creating creative interpretations and solutions to issues of global importance such as climate change and loss of natural habitat and pristine watersheds.

NMU UNITED Talk: This is Not This

Art and Practice: Jasmine Johnson and Rachel Pimm