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Postopia Artist Perspectives - prod. Mitch Smith

Postopia private view photo credit: Nick Manser


"The group will aim to present visions of technology through the lens of utopia and dystopia. But we will also try to imagine a third option: a state beyond extreme dichotomy towards a search for balance between humanity and technology with realistic expectations and a sustainable approach."

This is an excerpt from the brief initially calling for applications to partake in Postopia, an exhibition managed by a group of second year MFA students: Cherish Marshall, Stanley Black, Philippa Kate Weaver, Mitchell Smith, and Sean Winn being at its heart. The exhibition ran for three days, across three floors, and hosted almost 550 visitors in a beautiful space in Bermondsey. From the outside looking in, the entire exhibition process was run professionally and ultimately was an experience that I am vastly grateful for - not only for the chance to showcase my work alongside such a diversity of artists, but also for the experience of seeing first-hand a successful exhibit unfold. 

As mentioned in my Arc I showed my most recent finished work, 'Heavy smoke billows from a section of Gaza City in the Gaza Strip’, which - despite being a logical development in the trajectory of my practice - I believe was well suited as a response to the exhibition's brief. While I had originally planned to hang the work on a wall, the curators asked whether it would be possible to instead suspend the piece from a beam to act in part as a "wall" to divide what was a very large room. The welded frame and suspension mechanism that resulted from this conversation greatly expanded my thinking about how to display my works on paper going forward, and how the work can further interact with space.

All in all the exhibition was very well organized and executed, which was down to an incredible work ethic from its organizers and curators. This includes everything from the tight focus of the application brief and the communication skills of the project coordinator, to the time management of the installation process and dynamism of the curation. I am intent on remembering and echoing the balance of professionalism, conviction, flexibility, and industriousness that all those involved in Uncovered Collective's Postopia showed throughout.

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