“A basic theme for the anarch is how man, left to his own devices, can defy superior forces – whether state, society, or the elements – by making use of their rules without submitting to them.
‘It is strange,’ Sir William Parry wrote when describing the igloos on Winter Island, ‘it is strange to think that all these measure are taken against the cold – and in houses of ice.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil (1977)
Martin J Tickner, Sean McLusky, Martin Bell and Wai Hung Young have the pleasure of introducing you to Autonomy, the inaugural exhibition at GALLERY 46, Whitechapel.
Autonomy finds its roots in the Greek autonomia ‘independent, living by one’s own laws’. An acute description of the artists included in this opening show and for the gallery itself as a venture. As the title infers and the curation of the exhibition reflects, Autonomy embraces change as a constant along with self-determination and the absenting of ties to a greater whole.
The new space, established through the partnership of Martin J Tickner and Sean McLusky and Fruitmachine founders, Martin Bell & Wai Hung Young breaks fresh ground for the open-source, non-conformist curatorial approach Tickner and McLusky employed at their (rightly) notorious MEN Gallery, in Shoreditch.
Whitechapel has long been the centre of the radical and independent in London: perhaps a free mindset is the result of something entwined in the ‘east end’. It was here on the edge of the City of London that Marx and Engels researched their theories and close by GALLERY 46, Vladimir Lenin led rallies during his pre-Russian revolution exile. Charlotte Wilson and Peter Kropotkin’s anarchist publishing house, Freedom Press, still operates locally.
Perhaps it is unsurprising that Shoreditch and Whitechapel’s history of migration, flux and revolution is also mirrored in the opening of a new gallery here, signifying as it does arrival, departure and evolution for Tickner, McLusky, Bell & Young. Housed in a pair of newly renovated Georgian houses in the grounds of Whitechapel Hospital, GALLERY 46 is set over 3 floors and 8 rooms and is a kaleidoscopic addition to Whitechapel’s burgeoning gallery scene and close by its artistic heart, the Whitechapel Gallery.
Autonomy offers a review of the creative divergence that was established at MEN Gallery wed to works newly commissioned for this exhibition featuring over a dozen artists.
With a sharpened focus on the independent spirit of this multi-disciplinary group, connected by little more than a desire to re-enchant art away from an increasingly clunking and industrialised circuit and who continue to overthrow received truths in the genesis and execution of their work, Autonomy reveals the future contours of Whitechapel’s evergreen spirit of insurrection.
Mark Eley & Jon Whitbread
Tim Noble & Sue Webster
Warren Du Preez & Nick Thornton Jones
8TH SEPTEMBER – 17TH OCTOBER
WEDNESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2016 6 – 10.30
Monday – CLOSED
Tuesday to Friday 12pm – 7pm
Evenings available by appointment
Saturday 12pm – 6pm
Sunday by appointment only