Benjamin Fallon 15 - 31 October 2013


The exhibition To The Reader  curated by Benjamin Fallon, arises from the awareness that capitalism is, first and foremost, a social relation that defines our behaviour. The work in the show understands the limits of a moral critique that suggests that capital should just act nicely. Curator Benjamin Fallon points out that asking an inhuman system that is fundamentally interested in its own progress and growth, to behave in the interest of humans, is ultimately futile. The artworks opt, as theorist Donna Haraway would put it, to ‘stay with the trouble’. Instead of treating capitalism as an object that can be analysed from a cool distance, the goal is to actively map the system from within. Whilst some of the information and ideas dealt with are necessarily dense, the exhibition will maintain a level of humour, understanding the importance for a certain lightness of touch when dealing with complexity.

Central to this process of understanding the world is the role of art and aesthetics – not just in the traditional sense of developing imaginative visions, but also in the use of its critical functions. A significant number of participants in the exhibition work collaboratively in a move away from the modernist ideal of the artistic genius, understanding the need to work together to gain knowledge. A shared understanding of capitalism as ‘a grammer’ permeates the exhibition as the artists at various points mimic and over-identify with the structures of capitalism and its impact on our lives today. New and existing works will be presented including Andrew Cooper, Enda Deburka, Dean Kenning and John Russell’s digital prints based on their group reading of Das Kapital, Paul Sullivan’s exploration of the bureaucratic structures and human desires lying behind economic migration through the establishment of a Korean noodle bar in Liverpool and new work developed by Marika Troili exploring the spatial and temporal shifts brought about by the flexibilisation of labour.

The exhibition is situated in our present moment of crisis as the forces of neoliberal capital have increasingly eroded the possibility of collective action and in its search for ever new markets, continues with the privatisation and commodification of all relations. To The Reader will explore some of the moments in our recent history, within conditions where everything is reduced to the equivalent of exchange, and looks towards what might be coming.

About Benjamin Fallon is an independent curator, writer and designer. He participated in Curatorlab, Konstfack Stockholm 2012/13, served as co-director of Embassy Gallery between 2008 and 2010 and prior to this he worked in various capacities at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and ONEZERO. He is a regular visiting lecturer at Edinburgh College. Recent projects include ‘You are just in the middle of the beginning’ at various locations around Stockholm, 2013-ongoing; ‘The Exhibition and its Histories’ the University of Edinburgh, 2013; ‘Banal Inferno’ CCA Glasgow, 2010; ‘Hello World’ Embassy Gallery, 2010. Benjamin is instigator of the working group ‘Let’s get together and call ourselves an institute’, researching the possibilities for new forms of institutional practice.