With Urgency

21 March–11 May 2024

Private view: 20 March 2024

6-8 pm


“I think it’s good to remember that the aspirations and things that we imagined for this space and this experience never existed.”


Opening in March 2024, With Urgency centres on a newly commissioned collaborative video work by artists and close friends Daria Blum, Guendalina Cerruti and Mary Stephenson. Lending its title to the exhibition, the video marks the first time the trio have worked together to produce a single work and represents new terrain for each of their varied practices.


Developed over several months, With Urgency is an exploratory work that mediates the nuanced progression of the artists’ friendship, its shared intimacies and dialogues, mirrored by a conscious investigation of the creative process. Throughout, liminal spaces act as sites of construction as the trio navigates the process of collective making. We witness the balanced tension of the individual desire to communicate the self, both socially and artistically, with the resolve to explore their united creative potential; intimated through footage combined from each of their own cameras – which in turn become accessory to their artistic personas.


As the group builds trust and cultivates ideas, informal conversations, shared action, and elements of risk lead to chance moments of poignancy and playful absurdity. In its opening scene, a fiercely competitive if haphazard tennis game unfolds on a netless, overgrown court before rapidly descending into play-skirmish, accidentally injuring Cerruti. This unexpected collision of planned action with the aleatory sets the enduring double-edged tone of the narrative. As the work progresses, we see them perform live-action shots, camera-in-hand, in which they sprint get-away style towards a car, run chaotically into one another with child- like abandon, and scripting discussions, punctuated by unfiltered micro-interactions of mutual tenderness and vulnerability.

Shown alongside With Urgency, Blum, Cerruti and Stephenson present works individually made in response to their collaboration, reasserting their individuality within the collectively conceived whole.


Entitled Decollapse, 2024 Daria Blum’s series of works redeploy extendable light stands – used in her photography and performances – as surfaces upon which to wrap and warp images of past and new self-portraits; their facial expressions contorting from frown to grin with the viewer’s position. These still objects subtly reassert Blum’s connection with the viewer, destabilising assumed power dynamics by reperforming this relationship anew. Likewise, the functional props self-reflexively embody the interconnected nature of the artist and camera within the collaboration.


Created using the city-building game Township, Guendalina Cerruti’s My Town 1×1, 2024, envisages a digitally rendered utopian garden, replete with a gallery, museum, amusement rides, lush plants and flowers, as well as a tennis court echoing the one seen at the opening of With Urgency. Encased by a dense black frame and metal grid, the scene is both delimited and alluring, denying access to the viewer and simultaneously resisting this imposition of authority as its landscape spills out across the grid.


Set in contrast, Mary Stephenson’s Tight Sponge, 2023, transposes an everyday household object as an abstracted landscape, revealing at its centre a portal tautly bound by a fine thread. Intimate in scale, the vacancy of the scene evokes a psychologically charged, otherworldly plane upon which to map the self and unconscious desires – reflecting the covert role of the landscape as the fostering environment to the trio’s collaborative venture.


Daria Blum (b. 1992, Lucerne, Switzerland) completed a postgraduate degree from the Royal Academy Schools (2019-2023), having graduated with a BFA from Central Saint Martins (2014-2017), both London. Drawing primarily on time-based media, Blum employs various theatrical devices and auto-fiction to mythologise her own history as an artist, and to suggest how ‘breaking character’ can destabilise entrenched forms of engagement with the world. Blum interweaves various media – including performance, dance, moving image, music, text, photography, and written characters. Her multidisciplinary work often externalises internal conflicts in order to debate the politics of self-objectification and the dissemination and consumption of affect and emotion.

Blum has exhibited widely, including as part of the RA Schools Show, Royal Academy of Arts, London (2023); CIRCA Class of 2022, Piccadilly Circus, London (2022); Who Are You Wearing?, Kupfer, London (2022); DISCO, Fitzrovia Chapel, London (2021); Flashing and Flashing!, MAXXI Museum x Il Colorificio, Rome (2019); and Euro Femmes, Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga (2019). Recent live performances include those at Roskilde Festival, Denmark (2023); V.O Curations, London (2022); Rose Easton, London (2022); The Averard Hotel, London (2021); Ahoi, Luzern (with Julian Blum, 2020) and Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo (2019). She will be artist in residence at CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux (spring 2024) as part of Fluxus Art Project’s Magnetic Residency. She lives and works in London.


Guendalina Cerruti (b. 1992, Milan, Italy) graduated with an MFA from the Royal College of Art, London (2015-2017) and a BFA from NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan (2011-2014). Challenging dominant conceptions of artistic value, Cerruti’s works embody a playful, DIY aesthetic, transforming the act of decoration from a gesture of superfluity to an expression of resilience. Referencing youth and adolescence, Cerruti’s sculptures and paintings channel a drive toward emancipation and self-expression in order to subvert contemporary tendencies towards cultural and intellectual conformity. Exploring the relationship between youth and popular culture, she examines the complex interplay between alienation and belonging.

Cerruti has exhibited internationally with recent solo presentations including Ohh… Youth!, V.O Curations, London (2022); People Watching, New Low, Los Angeles (2022); Wasted Dreams, Public Gallery, London (2021) and Love You Bye, Studiolo, Milan (2018). Group exhibitions include those at Ginny on Frederick, London(2022); Peres Projects, Milan (2022); Ordet, Milan (2021); greengrassi, London (2019) and MAMBO – Museum of Modern Art Bologna, Bologna (2018). In 2020, she was awarded the Ducato Prize. She lives and works between London and Milan.


Mary Stephenson (b. 1989, London, United Kingdom) completed a postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy Schools, London (2019-2023), having graduated from The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow (2007-2011). Working primarily in painting, Stephenson’s canvases convey complex narratives across liminal, psychologically charged surrealities. Governed by an intuitive internal logic, their scenographies are often rendered in luminous twilit settings populated by idiosyncratic sylph-like beings or left seductively vacant. Throughout, an uncanny dreamlike mood pervades her work, offset by shades of poignancy and dark humour, revealing the subtle persistence of the unconscious upon our constructed identities and projected selves.

Stephenson has exhibited internationally with recent solo shows including Absent Presence – Mary Stephenson & Rachel Whiteread, Jeremy Scholar, London (2023); Suddener Than We Fancy, Incubator, London (2022); Fertile Spoon – Mary Stephenson & Grace Pailthorpe, Bosse & Baum, London (2021). She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, including those at Rose Easton Gallery, London (2023); Michael Werner Gallery, London (2022); Ginny on Frederick, London (2022) and Marigolds, Harlesden High Street, London (2019). She lives and works in London.


Daria Blum

Decollapse 1-5, 2024

stainless steel light stand, digital print on adhesive film

dimensions variable



Guendalina Cerruti

My Town 1×1, 2024

archival inket print on cotton paper, wood, non-reflective glass, metal grid panel, spray paint, acrylic paint

105 x 105 cm

41 3/8 x 41 3/8 in



Guendalina Cerruti

My Town 16×9, 2024

archival inket print on cotton paper, wood, non-reflective glass, metal grid panel, spray paint, acrylic paint

82 x 37.5 cm

32 1/4 x 14 3/4 in



Mary Stephenson

Tight Sponge, 2023

oil on linen

20 x 40 cm

7 7/8 x 15 3/4 in