Arts Radar: 11th October
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We here at Dojo don't believe that getting your shot of culture needs to be all furrowed brows and pensive stares. Sometimes, the best art comes with a side of levity and humour. So on that note, we give you a group of shows that focus on the funny. Whether they're comedic, satirical or dark 'n' subversive we have something that'll bring a smile to your lovely face.
Taking the piss out of society is such a fundamental part of the contemporary artistic process that it’s a wonder it hasn’t already been made into a compulsory module over at Slade. The references to Charlie Brooker’s eponymous dystopian masterpiece aren’t particularly overt (no pig shagging here), with the focus being on art which challenges power structures and visualises political unrest in a lighthearted manner.
Gran Fury are veritable legends in the queer community, having created their strategic art campaigns during the height of the HIV crisis to rile politicians and spread awareness to the public. Creating powerful imagery in a climate long before Drag Race and Jonathan Van Ness, their work is a trailblazing inspiration for what politically minded artists can achieve.
This abandoned empty pool forms part of a fictional story devised by subversive and daring Elmgreen and Dragset - the finest Scandinavian duo since Alphabeat. Expect this playfully deep insight from the artists to continue in three galleries upstairs with ruminations on masculinity and childhood innocence.
St Augustine’s Tower has the honour of being the oldest building Hackney. Rarely opened to the public, the tower has been taken over by a collection of artists who all have delivered their own responses to the theme of ‘space’. Some of the stuff is interactive including a sound installation which incorporates the tower’s 300-year-old bell.
Contemporary art has a real knack for taking itself seriously, so we're grateful to this show on artistic humour for giving us free reign to giggle in an exhibition without fearing the damning stare of a stern gallery invigilator. Some of the stuff isn't that subtle, but we laughed so full marks from us.