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The Spectre of the Real: an exhibition of social art at SEAS Brighton April 2019

Call for entries; deadline 20/03/19

Call for entries to “The Spectre of the Real“, an exhibition of social art at SEAS (Socially Engaged Art Salon) in Brighton’s BMECP centre, 12-21 April 2019. Issued by SEAS, 12 Feb 2019. 6 March 2019 updated show date, times and details, curators guideline, entry fees and bursary.

“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).

SEAS (Socially Engaged Art Salon) invites artists to propose works for the exhibition.

  • Works may be in any art media (painting, photography, sculpture, installation, new media art, sound art and performing arts).

  • Work should attempt to 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).

  • SEAS is particularly interested in works that depict or comment on the Real in everyday life, especially the production of art.

  • Submissions are welcome from emerging and mid career artists (18+). Artists from under represented groups and BME Artists are encouraged to submit work.

The show will be curated by the artist and writer Russell Honeyman.

Exhibition Details

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.

  • Exhibition open 13-21 April 2019.

  • Opening: Saturday 13 April, 1pm.

    • 1pm – Light refreshments.

    • 2pm – Talk ‘The Real”.

    • 3-6pm – 8 artist talks 15 minutes each.

  • Open to public 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).

Entry Details

A. Costs and Conditions:

  • SEAS welcomes submissions by artists to show their work. The submission is free of charge, but if works are selected artists would be asked to pay show fees. The fees are for the rental of the space, admin, invigilation and PR. These fees will be based on wall space or floor space occupied by the work.

  • If artists cannot pay show fees, the entry may be considered for (very limited!) bursaries to cover fees only. If required, state “Bursary Required” in your entry.

  • Fees for showing works will be advised when an offer is made to show the work, with the following guidelines:

  • Small works £20 – 2D works on walls up to 0.5m2 (eg 0.5x1m), 3D works on floor/plinth up to 0.03m3 (eg 0.3×0.3×0.3m)

  • Medium works £30 – 2D works on walls up to 1m2 (eg 1x1m), 3D works on floor/plinth up to 1m3 (eg 1x1x1m)

  • Large works £50 – 2D works up to 3m2 (eg 2×1.5m), 3D works on floor/plinth up to 8m3 (eg 2x2x2m)

  • Plinths, frames special lighting etc needs to be supplied by the artist. Please supply suitable fixings for hanging your work such as D Rings. (not sharp nails as these scratch other works!). Supply of works is at the risk of the the artist, if insurance is needed please arrange this yourself.

  • By submitting work, the artist warrants that they own the copyright to the work, and will allow low resolution reproduction of the work for the purposes of promoting the show.

B. Installation: Selected works need to be installed (11-12th April) and de-installed (22nd April) by the artist with the help of SEAS volunteers. Artists who live outside the South East if England will be able to send work by post.

C. How to Enter: Please submit your works via Curator Space or send in ONE PDF including the following:

  1. Name & contact details

  2. Up to 100 words biography

  3. Up to 200 words artist statement including info about submitted works, and relating to the exhibition theme.

  4. Up to 5 images or a link to a webpage where the submitted work can be viewed.

  5. Work name / year / media / size / price (if relevant)

  6. Estimated show fee/bursary requirement

  7. Please send the PDF with the exhibition name + your name in the subject line to:

D. Deadline: for application March 20th. Responses will be given by March 25th.


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