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Analysis, Disruption, System
10. September 2023 - 19. November 2023
Analysis, Disruption, System
ARTROOM SCHROTH in the Museum Wilhelm Morgner
10 September – 19 November 2023
Opening 9 September | 5 pm
Curated by Andrew Bick, Jonathan Parsons and Katie Pratt
Including works by Andrew Bick (with Ana Teles) | Katrina Blannin | Arnaud Desjardin/The Everyday Press | Tanya Goel | Clare Goodwin | Jonathan Parsons | Katie Pratt | Giulia Ricci | Jeffrey Steele
A catalogue will be published part-way through the exhibition, including installation shots, texts (English and German) by Felicity Lunn, Katie Pratt and Jon Wood and an introduction by Andrew Bick and Jonathan Parsons.
“This exhibition takes the work of nine artists and examines their relationship to historic and contemporary aspect of social and political systems. Their positions in the exhibition are constructed as a visual dialogue, but at the same time taking note that artists frequently resort to humour, that the detail of effective disruption often hinges on a joke.
The premise of the exhibition places the selected artists in a responsive relationship to past notions of system via the work of Jeffrey Steele (1931–2021), but it is equally about reactions to the changing ideas of system, about identifying new developments, divergences, and disruptions. Inevitably the current anxiety Britain is feeling about its relationship to Europe and to the world has a bearing on how artists who are working out of the UK and in some way relative to the UK function. Addressing modernism and its legacies directly, represented here by the work of Steele is one aspect. But by implication a new address to the modern is also a postcolonial question, as in what remains? How does it operate? What are its implications across a range of contexts? How might a current view of systems and by default legacies of the modern be global? As such, the exhibition is concerned with how art and ideas migrate and return; about how art addresses the world in a given moment, and how we use visual means (often systematically) to analyse and form cross cultural exchanges through the visual.
Analysis, Disruption, System is not a ‘political show’ in terms of its framework and central address. However, it celebrates the social analysis of system from the viewpoint of artists as well as taking delight in the humour, disruption, and the ability to step back and comment that is an artists’ prerogative in any healthy cultural examination of political structures. Naturally such delight is rooted in haptic experience and a focus on the way things are made. As much as jokes depend on the way they are told, the inherent materiality of visual art as a proposition is a concern this exhibition is very happy to emphasise.
In 2017 artists Andrew Bick, Jonathan Parsons and Katie Pratt co-curated The Order of Things for The Wilson, Cheltenham. The exhibition examined ideas of Systems Art from the 1970s in relation to current practice and generated interesting questions and responses in relation to parallel differences between ‘70s developments and current thinking in the world of cybersecurity. Systems, their function, and possible disruption were then discussed with analysts and researchers from the world of cybersecurity including in a public event with NCSC at the Royal Society of Arts, London in 2019. and tentative plans were made to do a piece of joint research.
Analysis, Disruption, System revisits the earlier exhibition and dialogues it established and expands the same questions in relation to current art practice. It also reflects on the arc of artistic development in relation to social and political concerns and how these are both systematized and disrupted. One of the aspects that emerged from the 2017 exhibition was the notion of the diagram as code or system in art, and its relation to programming and data processing. The diagram as model for understanding art has a long and at times questionable history. However, beyond the idea of the diagram as means of analysis and the application of the diagram as a system, the exhibition proposes that disruption is the central component of any live system of understanding in the present and this represents the key difference between contemporary practices and those established in the 1970s.”
Andrew Bick, July 2023