First Hand – an exhibition by /origin\forward/slash\ (29 September – 5 November 2023)

First Hand is an exhibition by /origin\forward/slash\ at Flat Time House, London, running between 29 September–5 November 2023. It is the culmination of a four year research project lead by Hester Reeve, Reader in Fine Art, in association with the Centre for Philosophy and Art, Kings College London.

The title of the exhibition, First Hand, refers to John Latham’s naming of his artist studio as the ‘Hand’ and the fact that this exhibition provides the first opportunity for the group to work together in person after three years online. The show includes installation, photography, video work, sculpture, digital work, painting and book-based pieces which have been developed in partnership through close discussion. Over the course of their digital placement /origin\forward/slash\ have become focused on issues of dwelling, thinking, materiality, the questioning of the domestic sphere and the objects or words we produce.

/origin\forward/slash\ have used two written documents as stimulus for First Hand, both included in the show. The first is John Latham’s permanent ‘book’ sculpture, cantilevered through the facade of FTHo, which they weild as an integral aspect of the exhibition. The second is the key philosophical essay by Martin Heidegger, The Origin of the Work of Art (1950) which the group use as inspiration to move through, with and against, to locate a dialogue between members of the group. The exhibition includes contributions from dance artist Marie Hay working in collaboration with philosopher Sacha Golob, artist Mark Titmarsh with art and critical theorist Johanna Malt, artist Hester Reeve whose work has been informed by conversations with philosopher Georgios Tsagdis, and a digital contribution by artist, writer and technologist Jan Hopkins.

Exhibition Events


Thursday 28 September 2023, 16:30–18:00

To mark the opening of First Hand, two contributors to the exhibition, artist Mark Titmarsh and philosopher Sacha Golob (Centre for Philosophy and Art, King’s College London) will discuss the figure of the artist-philosopher. Titmarsh will lead an overview on the history of the relationship between art and philosophy, taking in philosophers who include art in their writing or were significantly changed by their encounter with art, and artists who embed philosophical thinking within their artwork, as well as an examination of artists who write from Robert Smithson to Hito Steyerl. The talk will also introduce the practice of the /origin\forward/slash\ group, of which both speakers are members, and how it is situated within this context.

Followed by exhibition opening and drinks reception between 18:00-20:00.

Free event, limited capacity, please book via Eventbrite on the gallery website.

‘Reading the House Contents – Exhibition as Basis for Continued Dialogue’

Sunday 15 October 2023, 14:00-16:00

‘Reading the House Contents – Exhibition as Basis for Continued Dialogue’ is an exhibition and house tour with artist, art historian and writer Michael Corris with exhibiting artists and philosophers. This is a free event with limited spaces available – for more information and to book a ticket via Eventbrite, please visit the gallery website.




/origin\forward/slash\ formed out of a one-off event at Flat Time House at the end of 2018 organised by Hester Reeve and Sacha Golob. Thinking through, with and against ‘The Origin of the Work of Art was a one-day research event based at Flat Time House where invited artists and philosophers exchanged what was at stake for each of them in Heidegger’s philosophical text. After this event a small nexus formed who wanted to continue meeting to explore the issues that had arisen. Initially invited to create an exhibition at Flat Time House in 2020, the group used the hiatus of the Covid pandemic lock down as a rare opportunity to spend time online, ‘inhabiting’ their interests and friendships together. Since formation group members and contributors include: Steven Claydon, Sacha Golob, Marie Hay, Johanna Malt, Hester Reeve, Mark Titmarsh and Georgios Tsagdis.

The /origin\forward/slash\ project is lead by Hester Reeve, Reader in Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam University in association with the Centre for Philosophy and Art, King’s College London. The group are grateful to artist Jan Hopkins for assisting them in the build of their Other Hand website and for ongoing site maintenance.

/origin\forward/slash\ digital residency at FTHo: Between 2020 and 2023, the /origin\forward/slash\ group undertook a digital placement at Flat Time House. Their central activity has been convening in ‘The Other Hand’ (their virtual extension to John Latham’s original layout plan for Flat Time House via their website). The online room, The Other Hand, randomly presences-sequences small segments of Heidegger’s Origin of the Work of Art essay affording an architectural reading-experience of his ideas. The website also houses an archive of documents and video documentation.

For more information, and for individual biographies, please visit the First Hand website.