London’s ICA will welcome back Bloomberg New Contemporaries to its Mall galleries for the 6th year running. Selectors Hurvin Anderson, Jessie Flood- Paddock and Simon Starling have chosen works by 37 of the most outstanding artists emerging from UK art schools from a record number of applicants. Previous New Contemporaries include Tacita Dean, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, David Hockney and Mike Nelson as well as more recent emerging artists including Ed Atkins, Peles Empire, Nathaniel Mellors, Haroon Mirza and Laure Prouvost.
The artists exhibiting in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015 are:
Sïan Astley, Kevin Boyd, Lydia Brockless, U. Kanad Chakrabarti, James William Collins, Andrei Costache, Julia Curtin, Abri de Swardt, Melanie Eckersley, Jamie Fitzpatrick, Justin Fitzpatrick, Hannah Ford, Sophie Giller, Richard Hards, Juntae T.J. Hwang, Jasmine Johnson, Tomomi Koseki, Hilde Krohn Huse, Pandora Lavender, Jin Han Lee, Hugo López Ayuso, Beatrice-Lily Lorigan, Scott Lyman, Hanqing Ma & Mona Yoo, Scott Mason, Oliver McConnie, Mandy Niewöhner, Hamish Pearch, Neal Rock, Conor Rogers, Katie Schwab, Tim Simmons, David Cyrus Smith, Francisco Sousa Lobo, Aaron Wells, Morgan Wills and Andrea Zucchini.
The themes this year center around gender, labour, value and consumption are present in the final selection, as well as an interest in process, the act of making, materiality and modes of production. Kevin Boyd’s work explores the often complex relationship between location, place and identity. The juxtaposition of found objects with his own photographs add a further dimension to the way he shapes narratives around his work. U. Kanad Chakrabarti looks at the interplay for 3D forms in 2D objects, shaping beautiful sculptural forms for example from materials such as canvas sheets, ropes and cables. Chakrabarti’s work grew out of a collaboration with UCL’s Mathematics Department, and research into the life of William Kingdon Clifford, a Victorian-era mathematician at King’s College who made important contributions in the treatment of higher-dimensional geometries, and who wrote extensively on ethics and religion.
Abri de Swardt’s practice is inspired by the work of Derek Jarman. I’ll never wear sunglasses again hypothesises a fateful meeting between artists Paul Thek (1933-1988), Derek Jarman (1942-1994) and Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996), through ellipses, cut-ups, cut-outs and torn fragments. Questions of interiority, the materiality of time, and the hand of the artist are punctuated by a host of fantastical subsidiary characters.
Korean artist Juntae T.J. Hwang’s video work Angry Hotel is a direct expression of angry self- identified activists, who are talking to the West about its media misrepresentation of Asian individuals and its hubris regarding Western ideologies. By engaging with the idea of escapism, Hwang aims to expand his own cinematic utopian space in performances and video that challenge and question the strict narrative of normative trends relating to white supremacy in the modern hierarchical structure of his Western imagined ‘Kuewar’ culture.
Tomomi Koseki is a Japanese, UK-based artist and designer whose work often provides different perspectives on daily life. Her enlarged set of clothing is inspired by a family photograph showing her as a toddler with her parents. Replicating her father’s outfit from the original image, Koseki has scaled it up in relation to her current height and the ratio between her and her father as shown in the original family photo.
Through destruction and dislocation, Pandora Lavender’s practice takes an investigational approach into deforming matter and objects. By dropping a heavy weight onto her pristine minimalist panels, reason, planning, chance and mistakes become entangled. It is in this entanglement that her works are made.
Scott Mason’s The Moment between Creativity and Commodification — 01 is a live text available to download that includes texts by Harry Burke, Annie Davey, John Hill, Pedro Neves Marques, Sally O’Reilly and Frances Scott and sees the artist overwriting other texts.
Oliver McConnieʼs work is grotesque and carnivalesque with the fantastical imagery that he uses being an attempt to defeat fear through laughter. The interlinking narratives of his prints and drawings build-up a world where big-business pumpkin-heads vie with travellers and jesters in an ever increasing pace towards their mutual destruction.
At the core of Andrea Zucchini’s practice lies an interrogation into the metaphorical value of materials, both within their natural and cultural histories. The sculptural pieces disclose multilayered narratives addressing themes such as the primitive sexualisation of matter and the marriage of substances, as described in the ancient practice of Alchemy.
Complementing this year’s annual national touring exhibition is a public programme of talks and live events that bring together differing viewpoints. The exhibition is also accompanied by a fully illustrated 105-page colour catalogue, available online, in venue and through Cornerhouse Distribution priced at £10.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries 25 November 2015 – 25 January 2016