EXHIBITION
The Laughable Enigma of Ordinary Life

15th September - 31th December Tuesdays to Sundays | 10am-6pm

15th September | 18pm

Opening Exhibition The Laughable Enigma of Ordinary Life

The Laughable Enigma of Ordinary Life explores how comedy is important in shaping meaning, helping us negotiate the complexities of everyday life. What we find funny can be cruel, hateful, establishing symbolic boundaries that divide people into distinct groups, setting those with power against those without and vice-versa. But it is also a way of binding people together: providing consolation, a sense of shared experience and a powerful weapon of resistance.

This exhibition will present the multiple forms of the comedic as it is manifest through the experience of contemporary art.  Drawing together artists from diverse cultural and political contexts, each sharing an interest in humour as a device to animate their art practice and connect with an audience, both local and international, The Laughable Enigma of Ordinary Life explores the way artists reflect on their experience of the everyday to illuminate questions of cultural distinctiveness in an increasingly globalised world.

The exhibition is curated by David Campbell and Mark Durden.  This show develops from Double Act, which was shown over two UK venues, Bluecoat, Liverpool and the MAC, Belfast in 2016.  Campbell and Durden live and work in the UK and together with Ian Brown form the artists’ group Common Culture.

ARTISTS: BANK, CARLA GARLASCHI, COMMON CULTURE, DAVID SHERRY, ERICA EYRES, GEMMA MARMALADE, GILLIAN WEARING, JOACHIM SCHMID, JOÃO PAULO FELICIANO, JOHN SMITH, KARA HEARN, MAURICE DOHERTY, OLAV WESTPHALEN, PAUL McCARTHY, PETER FINNEMORE, PILVI TAKALA, RICHARD HUGHES, RICHARD WENTWORTH, THOMAS GEIGER.

Biographical Notes

David Campbell is an artist, writer and academic. As an artist he has exhibited extensively under his own name and collaboratively as Common Culture (Mark Durden, Ian Brown, David Campbell), an artists’ group he formed in 1996. He has written extensively on art’s relationship to commodity consumption and has co-written two books with Durden, Double Act(2016) and Variable Capital (2007); both books accompanying co-curated exhibitions. Together with Durden, Campbell, is currently working on an exhibition, book and film on art and celebrity. He is currently Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University.

Mark Durden is an artist, writer and academic. He has written extensively on photography and contemporary art. He is editor of the book Fifty Key Writers on Photography (2012) and his monograph Photography Today (2014) has been translated into Chinese, Turkish, French and Spanish. Together with David Campbell and Ian Brown, Durden is a member of the artist group Common Culture, exhibiting regularly both nationally and internationally. Durden has co-written two books with Campbell, Double Act (2016) and Variable Capital (2007); both books accompanying co-curated exhibitions. Together with Campbell, Durden is currently working on an exhibition, book and film on art and celebrity. He is currently Professor of Photography at the University of South Wales, UK.

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