ORGAN: Five Art Things to check out – Rhiannon Salisbury at Delphian, Darren Coffield at Dellaposa, TAA, Kat Anderson at Block 336, Lisa Brice, Jonathan Baldock, Stefan Gunnesc and off to Margate…

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Five? Now were did all that go? Crashes? Computers? Let’s write it all again and again and again and again and no butterflies were harmed during the making of this week’s page, no selfies in front of butterflies were taken, no here’s-me-at-the-private-view-with-some-butterflies episodes here.  That’s Hunter Potter up there by the way. Five more? Five more for what it might be worth, five more recommended art things then, mostly London art things, a simple exercise in information-sharing and sign post posting for that is what we’ve always done here at Organ  September has almost gone now, the so called Art season and the giant art fair monsters are kicking in, really can’t get excited about all the others, the Other and that other one and the Moniker cattle fair and I see Moniker has moved out of Brick Lane and gone to Chelsea with all that very very (very) conservative “urban art” or whatever they market what they’re flogging to whoever they aim to flog it to as, Chelsea? Says it all really, I don’t expect we shall be bothering to follow up our previous Moniker coverage, past years have left us rather politely underwhelmed and as Elvis once sang, I don’t Want To Go To Chelsea. No, on the whole the fairs do not excite, all that treat the artists as cash cows and cram them in attitudes of all the Others and the Starts and the other others that have been marketed at us artist for months – the only one that ever gets us excited is Frieze, Frieze does genuinely excite, okay so all that obscene excess is offensive, all those air miles and the rest, the rudeness, the elite and their contempt, I must confess it is exciting to see what the major galleries of the world are going to present, okay so it can at time be disappointing in terms of most of them playing it very very safe of it all, the shallowness of so much of it but it does really genuinely throw up exciting things (and yeah, a press pass does help, you need more than one day and one day cost an arm and a leg for your average person, id Frieze for the average person? Probably not, but then so many of the establishment galleries treat the general public as an inconvenience anyway, don’t come in here in your dirty shoes and your insignificant bank accounts

This admittedly rather fractured Five Art Things feature is intended as a regular, almost certainly weekly, or something like something near weekly, an almost  weekly round up of recommended art events, five shows exhibitions and things we rather think might be worth checking out. Mostly London for that’s where we currently operate and explore, and like we did say lat week (and the week before) with no claims that these are “the best five” or the “Top Five”, we’re not one of those art websites that ignore most things whilst claiming to be covering everything and proclaiming this or that to be the “top thing” or the “best thing”. this is simply just regular list of five or so art things coming up soon that we think you might find as interesting as we do….

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Rhiannon Salisbury

1: Rhiannon Salisbury,  ‘Habitual Submission’ at Delphian Gallery – “Delphian Gallery is delighted to present ‘Habitual Submission’, a solo show by London-based artist, Rhiannon Salisbury. Her work investigates the glossy representation of women to expose an absurd dystopian reality of the capitalist dream.  Her process begins from selecting through an archive of advertisement imagery sourced through high-end beauty campaigns online and magazines. The resulting paintings show the disturbance caused by the social pressures born of the mass media machine. The images morph into a synthetic chaotic mush which seeks to simultaneously allure and repel the viewer. In decontextualising the original image through the subjective lens of painting, Salisbury engages with an otherwise unobtainable dialogue of beauty. Inspired by serious literary and philosophical works such as The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord, and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Rhiannon decontextualises and distorts the vernacular image in such a way to render it eerily familiar, yet entirely alien. ‘Habitual Submission’ aims to disrupt and reclaim the omnipresent space these luxurious images occupy – a feminist manifesto for our current times”.

On this occasion, Delphian is at 253 Hoxton Street, London, N1 5LG. The opening night view thing is Thursday, 26 September 2019 from 18:00-21:00, hopefully we haven’t got all that get on the mailing list s owe can market at you or you can’t come in bullshit we’ve encountered at past Delphian events, “you don’t look like you#re interested in art, you look like you’re here for a free beer” or something like that is how we were greeted last time, Delphian do find interesting artists and present stimulating shows though, it looks like this Rhiannon Salisbury will be as good as anything they’ve presented in the last couple of years  . The show runs until October 8th, open ever day 11am, 7pm

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Rhiannon Salisbury

1 and a half – Temporary Autonomous Art is happening right now (26-28 September), the organisers, so we’re told, would prefer details weren’t shared on line, “The open-access art festival in a squatted venue returns to London city.All art forms are equally represented” and there is a whole load of punk rock, contemporary art, street art and things from beyond the labels. hey, we’re not going to take the blame for posting the details of where it is, ask someone, proper word of mouth without the social media and all that…

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2: Darren Coffield – “Against The Tide” at Dellaposa – “I hope this exhibition evokes a sense of dislocation, spurring the viewer to question the moral and political crossroads our civilisation has now reached”, says Darren Coffield. “Using visual wit to confront and interpret historical, cultural and political issues, British artist, Darren Coffield, presents his latest series of paintings at Dellasposa Gallery. The solo exhibition confronts contemporary anxieties around immigration, fake news, and the “dilemma of identity” in the 21st Century.. In the last 20 years, more than 60,000 migrant deaths have been recorded globally. In this new group of work inspired by the Old Master paintings in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Coffield fuses classical inspirations with digital distortions, “I became interested in how these images of this humanitarian crisis are represented in the media. My works take classical images and combines them with the digital glitches you get from a bad signal, breaking up the composition with coloured stripes that evoke the banality of the British seaside: bright stripy deck chairs and sticks of rock.” With these colourful stripes, he creates an eerie juxtaposition, using the beach as a cultural reference to explore its uses as a place of leisure as well as death. The people depicted become anonymous with these digital glitches, resembling the barcodes associated with relentless mass production, vast consumerism and scale, reinforcing the sheer quantity of people directly affected by mass migration. Coffield’s paintings evoke the duality of anonymity and individualism of migration and travel: bringing this wave of humanity to the forefront of the viewer’s mind and exposing its unrelenting reality. Desperate, overfilling ships and boats ebb and wane in the beating sun, while the bodies of Coffield’s figurative works are left hopelessly beached. The detail in the paintings forces the viewer to confront that this is this is not happening in some faraway land to beings unlike ourselves. Visible to all and ignored by many, this is an ongoing, urgent and often fatal situation”   Against The Tide runs at Dellposa, 2A Bathurst Street London, W2 2SD from September 26th until November 8th.

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Darren Coffield

3: Kat Anderson, “Restraint Restrained” at Block 336 – Opening on Friday 27 September and running until the 26 October, ‘Restraint Restrained’, the first solo exhibition by Bristol artist Kat Anderson, was commissioned by Block 336 in partnership with Black Cultural Archives (BCA). The artist conducted a residency at BCA where she accessed specific materials, developing her ongoing research project ​’Episodes of Horror’​, which explores the horror of trauma experienced by and projected upon Black bodies in literature and lens-based media. The works draw on the experiences and narratives of the many mentally ill Black people who have met their deaths in police custody or mental health facilities, through excessive restraint holds and other violent and negligent behaviours. ‘Restraint Restrained’ references the central premise of Frantz Fanon’s essay ‘Concerning Violence’, in which he claims that in order for the decolonisation of indigenous land to happen, a total and violent purging of the colonisers by the indigenous people must occur. Anderson repurposes this idea to consider how the contemporary Black mind and body, as a ‘colonised space’, is processed through public health and police institutions; understanding such authorities as embodiments and enforcers of structural white supremacy.

The exhibition comprises four newly commissioned works that question our perceptions of ‘violence’, and the sacrifices necessary to envision a liberation of the Black body and mind. The works reflect on the affective violence of institutional racism and the revolutionary strategies that Black activists, artists and community organisers have proposed to tackle these oppressive racialized forces. To explore this, Anderson has displayed these works in darkness with glimpses of light to both subvert the whiteness of the institutional gallery space and to simultaneously conceal and subtly reveal how Black bodies are positioned and imagined in white space.

In the sound work ‘…Hold 2 3 4…’, Anderson juxtaposes the performance of tactical breathing employed in modern day warfare with Fanon’s notion of ‘combat breathing,’ in which a colonised ‘individual’s breathing is an observed breathing,’ exposing the effect of occupation on the Black body and mind. Six large prints in varied shades of black are presented with excerpts from poems published in black liberation papers such as Race Today and Black Voice. These words are revealed as fragments visible only when flashes of light reveal them to the viewer. The central piece of the exhibition is a two-channel video installation ‘John’, which tells the story of a young male patient of a psychiatric hospital, who witnesses the death of another Black male patient at the hands of white staff. Blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction, this work draws from real life cases of Black mentally ill men who have died as a result of excessive force. The last work presents a round-table discussion with the family members of Black men who have died in police custody or psychiatric units; mental health and legal professionals; activists and artists who reflect on violence as it relates to institutional racism and what needs to be done to free the Black mind.

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Kat Anderson, “Restraint Restrained” at Block 336

Kat Anderson is an artist and curator, working in installation and moving image, with an interest in Black Diaspora identities, Black trauma and mental health. Her recent work includes two commissions from KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin) which explored the subjects of horror and trauma, as experienced by or projected upon Black bodies in lens-based media and literature. Anderson did a residency at Metal (Liverpool) in 2018, where she examined seminal moments of civic and personal change, looking at the historic and contemporary intersection of race, poverty and mental illness in the lives of Black Liverpudlians.

Block 336 is at 336 Brixton Road, SW9 7AA London, United Kingdom Open night is 27 September, 6-9pm and then 28 September – 26 October 2019 Thurs – Sat, 12-6 pm

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Lisa Brice and Jonathan Baldock at Stephen Friedman Gallery

4: Lisa Brice and Jonathan Baldock at Stephen Friedman Gallery –  There’s a couple of solo exhibitions (Lisa Brice and Jonathan Baldock) opening at Stephen Friedman Gallery on Thursday 26 September, 6–8pm, it isn’t all about the opening of course, both shows run at the West End gallery until November 9th, .

“Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present its first exhibition with British artist Jonathan Baldock. This follows Baldock’s solo show at Camden Arts Centre, London in Spring this year and precedes another solo exhibition at Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway in May 2020. Baldock’s work is saturated with humour and wit, as well as an uncanny, macabre quality that channels the artist’s longstanding interest in myth, folklore, and narratives associated with ‘outsider’ practices.  His exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery brings together a new series of ceramic masks that teem with bright colours and outlandish expressions. Ripples of clay allude to folds of skin, whilst incisions and abstract protuberances reveal physiognomic features such as eyes, ears and nostrils. Here the artist toys with a cognitive process called pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon that causes people to see faces in inanimate objects”.

“Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by South African artist Lisa Brice. This will mark the second show at the gallery for Brice, who is based in London, and follows her highly acclaimed solo exhibition in 2018 at Tate Britain, London. Brice’s new body of work continues her interrogation of the male gaze by contesting and reinterpreting traditional depictions of women throughout art history. Playing with notions of liminality and agency, Brice treats her paintings like doors or portals by providing voyeuristic access into otherwise private spaces, typically playing with quintessential images of ‘the studio’. Painted in rich hues of vermillion and cobalt blue, images of female empowerment and defiance such as women wielding paintbrushes and cigarettes populate Brice’s recent work. Mirrors, smoke and panelled folding screens are used as formal devices to interrupt and veil her subjects” – paintbrushes are cool, smoke? I guess it should sometimes be uncomfortable?   Stephen Friedman Gallery, 25-28 Old Burlington Street, London, W1S 3AN.

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Stefan Gunnesch

5: Stefan Gunnesch – “Underneath the Skin – Hidden Identities” at Nadia Arnold  – “The human body, its abstraction and its separate entities are expressed in Gunnesch’s work. His collages show an interplay of different materials, shapes and colours. Gunnesch’s main inspiration emerges from the vanitas genre, a symbolic work art showing the transience of life, the futility of pleasure and the certainty of death. Change, blossoming and withering are the starting point for his visual research. The collage technique demands that initially, something has to be fragmented and destroyed before something new can emerge. In this sense, the method of cutting is directly related to the theme of vanitas. During creation, the subject decays and changes constantly; and something beautiful can become morbid or even ugly yet fascinating through its own aesthetic. With his works, Stefan Gunnesch tries to connect to the audience’s feelings, memories and associations. It is always about finding oneself, which stimulates the reflection and tracing of one’s own body and thereby identity”. There’s a private view on October 2nd, you need a ticket for that (yawn) , the show actually runs from 30th September until 6th October. Find Nadia Arnold  at 7 Club Row, London, E1 6JX

And of course this coming week isn’t about formal galleries and polite openings, this week is all about the beautiful left-fieldness of us artists doing it ourselves at the seaside, jump on that train to Margate and come explore the Margate leg of the 2019 Art Car Boot Fair adventure and the Margate Art Weekend, The Tina Turner Art prize and a whole lot of pop up artist led show that are happening over this coming weekend. jump on a train, get to the seaside, maybe find yourself a #43Leaves piece just hanging there waiting to be taken

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