Chisenhale Gallery 2017 Commissions Programme

Words by Elena Scarpa
November 10, 2016

Chisenhale Gallery commissions and produces contemporary art supporting artists to pursue new directions and make their most ambitious work to date. Discursive events, including lectures, screenings and workshops, run concurrent to the commissions programme. The gallery has an award winning, 33-year history as one of London’s most innovative forums for contemporary art and operates alternately as an exhibition hall, production agency, research centre and community resource.

The 2017 commissions programme comprises four new exhibitions by Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Maeve Brennan, Luke Willis Thompson and Hannah Black.

Through their work these artists investigate and challenge traditional forms of exhibition making, raise questions on the importance of cultural heritage and give prominence to those who are underrepresented in society. The artists also address broader questions surrounding the ethics of collaboration and the body as a site of political enquiry, examining a paradox between restrictions of mobility and circulation within an increasingly networked society. A dedicated talks and events programme relating to themes raised in the artists’ practices takes place throughout the year.

Alex Baczynski-Jenkins
January 20–March 12, 2017
Opening: Thursday, January 19, 6:30–8:30pm

The first institutional solo presentation by Warsaw-based artist and choreographer Alex Baczynski-Jenkins. Baczynski-Jenkins’ practice is concerned with the mediation and politics of affect, desire and intimacy. For his commission at Chisenhale Gallery Baczynski-Jenkins’ choreography will unfold across the duration of the exhibition, staging queer affinities between dancing, desiring and medical subjects.

Maeve Brennan
March 31–June 4, 2017
Opening: Thursday, March 30, 6:30–8:30pm

The first solo exhibition by London and Beirut-based artist Maeve Brennan. For her commission at Chisenhale Gallery Brennan is producing a film that investigates Lebanon’s densely layered archaeological and urban sites and their economies of maintenance and repair. Brennan’s film is produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London and Spike Island, Bristol and commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery; Spike Island; The Whitworth, The University of Manchester; and Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore.

Luke Willis Thompson
June 23–August 27, 2017
Opening: Thursday, June 22, 6:30–8:30pm

The first UK solo exhibition by London-based artist Luke Willis Thompson, and the culmination of his Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency (2016-17), which is produced in partnership with Create. Thompson’s work takes place within specific social contexts challenging traditional sites of exhibition making. For his commission at Chisenhale Gallery, Thompson takes the 2011 London riots as point of departure to explore the social and cultural politics that underwrite moments of radical civil unrest.

Hannah Black
September 15–December 10, 2017
Opening: Thursday, September 14, 6:30–8:30pm

A new commission and first solo institutional exhibition by Berlin-based artist Hannah Black. Working with video, sculpture, writing and performance, Black investigates how social codes, such as gender, class, race and capital are inscribed and reimagined using the body as material. Often using her writing as source material, Black’s videos incorporate an editing approach that questions the materiality of the medium and comments on modes of commercial production and reception.

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