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The Spectre of the Real

Social art at SEAS Brighton (13-21 April 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. (uploaded 15.03.19, revised 29.03 -details of Opening to the Public, 31.03 Artist List)

UPDATE 6 April: Awarding winning Die List by local artist Eade on show at Spectre of the Real – details click here.

Update 15 April – video review of Spectre of the Real exhibition:

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).

Exhibition on show 13-21 April 2019.

Opening to the Public: Saturday 13 April, 4pm. Join  Guestlist Facebook event / email here

1-4pm – Meet the artists.

4-6pm – Opening reception, light refreshments, Artists Talks:

  • Russell Honeyman: ‘The Real”

  • Elizabeth Eade: Die Liste

  • O. Yemi Tubi: The Facts of Life

  • Loraine Monk: Relief Printing as Political Act

  • Grant Lambie – Car Bombs and Maps

  • Kristina Mygul – Spontaneous

6-8pm Film: The Square

Films and Workshops:

  • Sat 13 April 6-8pm: Film (Free): The Square

  • Sunday 14 April 2-4pm: Workshop (ticketed) click here: Withy Lanterns

  • Tuesday 16 April 4.30-6pm: 5th Brighton SAN (Social Art Network) meeting. More info.

  • Wednesday 17 April 2-6pm: Painting impressions of ruined landscapes (ticketed)

  • Thursday 18 April 2-4pm: Workshop (ticketed) click here: Withy Lanterns

  • Sat 20 April 7-9pm: Film: tbc.

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 is located in the BMECP Centre, near Brighton Train Station.

10A Fleet Street, Brighton BN1 4GQ. BMECP Location on Google Map

More info about SEAS, and contact:

Participating Artists 31 March 2019

Curators 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).

  • More info:

  • 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.

Below: a photogallery of Spectre of the Real Show by Matteo Haenen of Euromernet.


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