“Interpret the world as you want to see it. Construct the reality that you want to inhabit. I believe that is possible and that’s complete freedom. There are no rules.”
The territory inhabited by artist Jonathan Ellery is fundamentally provocative.
In response to the manipulation and unravelling state of contemporary world politics, he has released his latest piece, Populism. The abstract work takes two forms: a sculptural, special edition book, accompanied by a site-specific billboard installation.
Functioning as a deliberately considered token of defiance, the 850-page tome is almost absurd in its execution. Reminiscent in form of a tactile telephone directory, it features 416 numbers, rendered sequentially, and a mere three images: a banality reverberating across the turning of each double-page spread. The monotony is momentarily interrupted by the coarseness of three fully exposed arse holes. The work is a minimalist gesture, transferred through an abstract form, where numbers are employed simply as shapes, whilst simultaneously invoking political truths.
Describing the work the artist has stated:
“A typeface has been chosen. It’s slick and modern and comes with the promise that everything will be ok. The false assumption of intelligence, but in reality it is a con.”
For a duration of two weeks, coincidentally timed to the June general election, the artist will appropriate a traditional 48-sheet billboard. Situated on the corner of Old Street and Shoreditch High Street, the text-based intervention will subtly subvert the language of marketing and advertising commonly associated with hoardings. The arresting framework is stripped back to its elemental form, marking the void space with provocation over proposition.
Published by Browns Editions
274mm x 210mm
3 black and white images
First edition of 419