Closing Down Sale - Another Roadside attraction’s inaugural show

Another Roadside attraction’s inaugural show begins where most ventures end; with a closing down sale. The purpose of the exhibition is to explore the juncture between art and commerce and to examine how artists today have assimilated the methods and language of the high street. Although each artists approach is different, what unites them is a reluctant acceptance of accelerated commodity culture. Neither celebratory nor overtly political, they examine with humour and mordant enquiry product fetishisation. Consumerism is all pervasive and all are aware that by making art, they are complicit as both producer and receiver.

The art market today mirrors the high street and the gallery can be seen as merely a showroom. Just as consumerism promotes the value of the new, whilst discarding the old, so too it seems, that artists careers are shortened as collectors demand new product. Although critical of this, artists today can only control their work and not its reception but many use their practice to comment on it.

Dave Ball is an artist whose subversive interaction with the everyday derails the smooth running of ordinary life. His tin-anagrams’ use familiar consumables and with playful rearrangement displace and corrupt. His film ‘Supermarket reversal,’ disorientates and invalidates the shopping process by returning all goods to their original settings.

James Topple’s raw aesthetic, uses the directness of advertising to explore the fragmentary self and examine issues of being an artist in this market driven world. His impulsive texts are a means of catharsis and a way of dealing with the duality of career and expression.

In his work Richard Owen explores the way in which commerce readily quotes from the past without contextualization. His painting “Commercial Album,” refers, by title to The Residence’s LP and by design to the Sex Pistol’s LP. Replacing the text with familiar modern typographies he illustrates how new contexts are often at odds with original, political, social and cultural meaning.

Cathy Streeter is an artist interested in human behaviour and methods of communication. Her work recasts the ordinary and banal in a way that makes visible narratives that would otherwise be lost. In her collection of shopping lists ‘Marmalade and bum wipes,’ found over a period of time, we are able to learn something of the author by way of handwriting, quality of paper and content.

Part social critique and part aspirational role-play Tete de Alencar’s photographs playfully raise questions about, image, desire, privilege and worth. Her modus operandi is to visit expensive fashion stores and convince shop assistants to let her try on a garment that she can’t afford and which doesn’t fit and then photograph herself in the changing room. The result is a self portrait which obscures the subject through flash reflection and disguise.

Adrian Firths work uses Britain’s lowest monetary denominator to produce a pixiellated portrait of one of retails highest earning and most famous proprietors. By using the penny, he substitutes opulence for the insignificant, devaluing the subject but also alluding to the purpose of retail. The Queens head that adorns each penny is also suggestive of the strained relationship with Mohammed Al Fayed and sovereign.
Closing Down Sale - Another Roadside attraction’s inaugural show

Event Title: Closing Down Sale - Another Roadside attraction’s inaugural show
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