The New Social Environment#113
A conversation with MFA Students participating in “Tomorrow: London”, an exhibition at White Cube
1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific
MFA Students participating in the exhibition “Tomorrow: London” at White Cube Gallery will discuss their recent work with Rail Editor-at-Large, Toby Kamps. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Zack Pieper.
In this talk
See the “Tomorrow: London” exhibition at White Cube Gallery: https://whitecube.viewingrooms.com/viewing-room/39-tomorrow-london-weeks-1-4/
Januario Jano is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works between London, Luanda, and Lisbon. Reflecting on the ideas of home and self, he explores historical and contemporary narratives within the globalization context. It is seduced in the parallel between fiction and reality, the increased concern about the ecological relationship between humans, nature, and non-humans, that creates the intersection to engage with the complex themes around space and time. The body is pivotal, and its representation occurs within the increasingly globalized and cross-cultural dimension, which facilitates his engagement with sculpture, installations, and performance.
Peter Spanjer lives and works in London. His work has a layer of sensuality, sexuality, and a certain softness and vulnerability which can be traced to his personal battles with breaking away from gender identification within an African household, specifically as a black gay male. Spanjer strives to confront his own sensitivity in his work. The research is often based on self-evaluation: trying to dismantle narratives that have been planted and may still be growing. Whilst challenging an internalized belief system, Spanjer equally tries to pull apart generic ideas on ‘blackness’ and black men within the art world and what an artist who is black should display or talk about within their work. The theme of resistance is often a framework he tries to build or begin to build a workaround.
Lydia Pettit’s works are confrontational depictions of her own inward gaze, forcing the viewer to reckon with the realities of her body and mind, and their own viewpoints on the struggles women face with sexual abuse, trauma, body politics, and mental health. Her materials range from large expressive oil paintings of her body to intimate, hyper-real figurative embroideries within odd quilts to create new realities spanning painting and textiles. Pettit’s paintings explore the experience of PTSD and the politics of the body, using her own image as a vehicle to process and communicate. Her textile pieces capture this eerie experience using disjointed compositions and mixed materials, disembodied figures, and contrast between representational embroideries and cartoonish environments.
Alice Bucknell is an American artist and writer based in London. With a background as an art and architecture critic, she participates in international exhibitions, symposiums, and residencies. She is a guest critic at international design and architecture schools including the Architectural Association in London and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Her writing appears regularly in art and design publications including Flash Art, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, Mousse, and The Architectural Review. She is currently a staff writer at Elephant Magazine and the Harvard Design Magazine, and a resident of HQI in White City. She studied at the University of Chicago and the Royal College of Art in London.
With a background in music education and classical voice, Teresa Arede places a strong emphasis on the use of sound and is interested in the idea of artificial narratives. “Through researching the poetic qualities of these half-dreamt worlds I have arrived at subjects connected to the absurd and the volatile mutability of truth. I have also been leaning on the idea of language as a manipulator of truth, many times used as a detrimental stifling tool.”
Paola Estrella is an experimental artist born in Mexico City. Through her work, she depicts the role of fantasy, desire, and virtuality in relation to intimacy. By diving into the blurred limits between the real and the imagined, the external and the internal world, and the public and the private, she conveys how these affect, impact and shape social conventions, gender roles, identity, and our notion of reality. Estrella´s multi-media practice combines mixed media and performance, which often result in video-installations. She has a BA in Graphic Design and studied art direction and mixed media at Central Saint Martins and she is currently studying a master’s degree in contemporary art at the Royal College of Art in London.
Alexander Dixon investigates the relationship between natural and artificial realms, considering how these two domains coincide as changes in technology allow us to manipulate the forms and materials that define our environment. “Diagrams have also been a major influence. In displaying data, they mimic what they represent, reflecting patterns in nature for our analysis.”
Christopher Hartmann creates ambivalent and ambiguous scenes of interpersonal relationships that take place in non-places and times. “I intend to depict relationships shaped by alienation, intimacy and emotional detachment, in which a seemingly tender touch speaks of distance and rejection. I am interested in the gap between the visible and the invisible, between what the relationship is and what the relationship appears to be.”
Emily Moore explores and investigates her own term ‘wildness’ in Contemporary Painting. “The term ‘wildness’ in contemporary painting speaks both to my approach within my practice but also suggests for me the state of contemporary painting through the lens of art history and its current context within the immediate conversations surrounding painting.” Her current body of work explores the term of wildness whilst also addressing the current.
Victoria Cantons:“I am an artist, who happens to be a woman and transgender. As a trans woman I am keenly aware of limitations and stigma which leads me to question how much freedom do we have and where are our boundaries? I want to understand as much as I can about what it means to be human. I am interested in themes of power, identity, and male and female perceptions of each other.”
Contemporary racial politics, migration, blackness and whiteness are central to Michael Forbes’ work; in relation to universal debates on race, wealth, history and religion. Sculpture, installations, photography, animation and digital media are the external manifestations to these debates.
Max Limbu is interested in the narrative of architecture and artefacts. Focusing on the drastic or gradual metamorphoses in object aesthetics, from the colonial expropriation of artefacts to the changes of architectural landscapes entangled with its muted histories.
Sean Tseng‘spractice explores the subtle dynamics and beauty of attraction between different forms in nature where encounters with beings and surroundings await. “Through my work, I consider how the idea of the industrialised, raw and natural materials can express landscape narratives and remind of different qualities of nature itself in response to what we all confront with our natural surroundings nowadays.”
Olivia Sterling‘spaintings play with past and present ideologies that consider black bodies to be less than the white, and this absurdity is what drives and is reflected in her painting.
Sholto Blissett examines the sublime in nature, and how people experience it differently as our relationship with nature has changed.
Hong Kong-born, London based artist Bo Choy makes film and performances. She uses fiction, music, writing and costuming as artistic devices to navigate through the socio-political, the historical or simply what it means to be living in a technologically driven, capitalist urban society.
Olga Ulmann is a practice-oriented artistic researcher, absorbing the surrounding world in an attempt to translate her findings into drawings, sculptures, installations and moving images. Olga’s artistic practice derives from biographic roots: the depiction of fabric as an art historical framing of femininity and her early upbringing in the former USSR as historically bounded forms of identity forming, gender expression and nationhood as forms of inequality, and critical analysis of the meaning-making-mechanism and extensive visual literacy.
Ella McVeigh’s work centers around the thought thatpaintings have the capacity to offer another insight into experience which surpasses the scope and range of our language based thoughts.
Harminder Judge practices performance, video and installation channelling Gene Simmons and Kali, Hindi mythology, sci-fi, pop-culture and identity. Judge borrows techniques from Italian fresco, Indian reverse glass painting, and plastering his own house.
Anna Perach’s practice is informed by the dynamic between personal and cultural myths. She explores how our private narratives are deeply rooted in ancient storytelling and folklore and conversely how folklore has the ability to tell us intimate, confidential stories about ourselves. In her work she synthesises female mythic characters and retell their stories while placing them in the current climate. By doing so she creates an experience of eeriness, evoking a sense of both familiarity and distress.
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Zack Pieper reading.
❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.