The Spectre of the Real: social art at SEAS Brighton :: 13-21 April 2019

Europa 15 Jan 18 Russ Honeyman - 2115 March 2019. The Spectre of the Real exhibition will take place 13-21 April 2019 at SEAS (Socially Engaged Art Salon), at the BMECP Centre near Brighton Train Station.  The exhibition will include an opening reception and artist talks open to the public.

The show will be curated by the artist and writer Russell Honeyman, who said: “The Real is an idea of what lies beneath the ideological construct of our culture – beneath the mask of consumer happiness and humanitarian aspiration. The concept was originated by psychoanalyst Jaques Lacan, and developed by British cultural theorist Mark Fisher.”

Work on show will represent or comment on hidden structures that govern our everyday life (e.g. the production of art under capitalism, austerity, borders and boundaries); or current affairs, (e.g. Brexit, the rise of populism, xenophobia, racism & anti-Semitism, neo-colonialism), or ideas (e.g. the nature of being human). Expect diverse art media (painting, photography, sculpture, installation, new media art, sound art and performing arts).

gini in a bottle poster 1 (2014_11_07 02_04_26 UTC)

  • Exhibition on show 13-21 April 2019.
  • Opening to the Public: Saturday 13 April, 1pm.
    • 1pm – Light refreshments.
    • 2pm – Talk ‘The Real”.
    • 3-6pm – 8 artist talks 15 minutes each.
  • Artists talks, Films and Workshops in making sculpture in withy, painting social subjects will be announced.
  • Open to public on weekends: 11am-6pm (Sat 13, Sun 14, Sat 20, Sun 21).
  • Open by arrangement 9am-5pm weekdays –  there is usually an artist in the gallery but make sure – phone 0300 3031171. Mon 15, Tues 16, Wed 17, Thurs 18, Fri 19.
  • SEAS (Socially Engaged Art Salon) was founded in 2016 and became a beacon for social and political art in Brighton and beyond, showing the works of emerging and mid career artists from the UK and abroad.
  • SEAS is located in the BMECP Centre, near Brighton Train Station. BMECP Location on Google Map
  • More info about SEAS, and contact:

Curator’s Guidelines

“The Real is an idea of what lies beneath the ideological construct of our culture. The Real was a concept of French philosopher Jaques Lacan in the 1960s, who described it as Nature before classification and symbolisation – how a newborn would see the world. The Real was given a new context by British philosopher Mark Fisher in 2014, who said it is what lies beneath the ideology of ‘capitalist realism’ – an example quoted is environmental disaster lurking beneath the happy face of consumerism. Entries to this exhibition might be abstract, cartoonish, photographic, painterly, figurative, or performative, any media or subject, but they refer to the idea of the Real. The Real is a subject or theme of Social Art –  which in my view is art that engages with understanding of culture or social transformation. It includes activist art by individuals, and art that engages communities or is produced by communities. The qualities of understanding, transformation or activism may need to be described in titles or documentation, to place the art in a social context. Social art is specifically not: pure aesthetics.
Russell Honeyman, February 2019.
‘“The kingdom of culture is superimposed on that of nature … the world of words creates the world of things.” In the realm of the Real, our union with the mother is experienced as perfect and complete.’ Jaques Lacan quoted and paraphrased in Cultural Theory and Popular Culture Eighth Edition by John Storey.
“The Real is what any ‘reality’ [or ideological construct] must repress… the Real is an unrepresentable … traumatic void that can only be glimpsed in the fractures and inconsistencies in the … apparent reality.”Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism (2009).
“When you come to think of it, all forms of representation are ghostly. Works of art are haunted, not only by the ideal forms of which they are imperfect instantiations, but also by what escapes representation.” Mark Fisher, Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (2014).

MAFA 2017 lr - 9

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