From the archive, a review of Aftermath; the annual Nottingham Contemporary-hosted exhibition held in collaboration with Nottingham Trent students…
Words by Alexander Stubbs. First published 9th July, 2020, at Leftlion.
Aftermath responds to a past exhibition: this year, the well-received Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus is under the microscope. Offering new perspectives on an established exhibition, particularly one that received high praise, is indeed a demanding task.
It’s all a bit different this time around. Trading The Space – a multi-purpose exhibition hall nestled below the main galleries – with a digital ‘space’ on the Nottingham Contemporary website, Aftermath 2020 finds itself in untrodden territory. It’s a sign that even with our physical institutions closing their doors, artists remain working. The works on view are an eclectic and refreshing mix that, as you turn the pages of the virtual exhibition catalogue, provide a sense that each artist has thought carefully about their responses to Still Undead.
As Still Undead captured a moment in British artistic history, Aftermath seeks to portray the present moment with a unique sense of self-awareness. Creating art whilst confined to spaces that are not conventional studios and workshops is a challenge in itself. Ryan Boultbee’s Restrictions/Intuition is born out of experimentation that could only belong to the present moment. The use of candle wax and paper is the result of what the artist has on hand; experimentation with material is itself a recognition of playfulness confined by and to a certain space.
Enjoyed reading? Head over to Leftlion to read the full review, here.