Two contemporary artists critique media manipulation in this pop-up art show.
Deborah Davies (Dd) presents Faded Glory and #DicktatorDon: ‘Making America Great Again….One Prick At A Time’: two responsive artworks that reflects the artist’s long standing interest in American politics and her exploration of where art meets technology. Dd is fascinated by feedback loops and is thus drawn to art that incorporates such technology. This means that the works she produces are frequently both interactive and participatory. The artist often harnesses conversations from social media platforms and visualizes them in her work, or encourages conversations online with her artworks acting as prompts. Themes in her work include representation, ritual, belief, power, politics, violence and perception. She approaches much of her work with a sense of humour and fun.
In Messages From The Office For Global Improvement, Hilary Champion demonstrates her strong empathy with Noam Chomsky who believed that governments increasingly keep their populaces preoccupied with small questions so that they will not think to ask the big questions. In particular she critiques the bombardment of the public by a constant stream of over-zealous advice, warnings and veiled attempts to micro-manage many aspects of people’s lives. The warnings, enthusiastically disseminated by both conventional and social media, cover a plethora of topics. This includes the health risks posed by over-cooked chips, arsenic in rice and the threat to air quality posed by the methane produced by cattle. Working under the guise of the totally fictitious ‘Office For Global Improvement’ she produces hand-made screen-prints to satirize this relentless stream of pronouncements from armies of faceless bureaucrats. Gallery visitors will be encouraged to add their own experiences of spurious advice to those amassed from her previous showings of this work.
Dd’s Faded Glory represents the ebb and flow of conversations on Twitter around Russia’s interference in the USA Elections of November 2016 and the subsequent fallout, such as the congressional hearings and the Mueller investigation. America’s flag is both corroded and weakened, a shadow of its once-proud self. Through the distressed devoré fabric the Russian flag emerges, strengthening and ebbing as the conversation flows across the Twittersphere.
Taking its feed from the live Twitter API the conversations are simplified to a positive or negative statement about Russia’s alleged interference. The more negative the conversations, the stronger the Russian flag shines through the Stars and Stripes until it eclipses Old Glory completely.
#DicktatorDon: ‘Making America Great Again….One Prick At A Time’
This hand-made effigy of the ‘orange one’ is designed to be humorous in that you can literally poke fun at the 45th President of the United States of America. It invites participants to work out for themselves where they should prick him if they want to make his eyes light up. Throughout the last six months Dd has been sending a limited number of #DicktatorDons to those who apply for one online through the website. Some results of their interactions with #DicktatorDon will be on display in the exhibition. This work is another example of how Dd’s art practice explores representation, empowerment, conversation and feedback.
Dates: Friday 8th December to Wednesday 20th December 2017
Times: 12noon to 6pm
Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays
Late night: Wednesday 13th December till 10pm.
Private View: Thursday 7th December 2017: Time 6pm to 8pm