a rebel scene

30 Sep 2016 – 18 Dec 2016

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Nottingham, United Kingdom


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Commissioned by New Art Exchange to reflect the current debates within Nottingham's activist network, artists Kajal Nisha Patel and Sunil Shah present a mixed-media installation created in dialogue with local advocacy groups.



In responding to the commission, Patel and Shah sought to dismiss authorship, cultural hierarchies, institutional control and political positioning. As such, they collaborated with local groups, predominately: Nottingham Women’s Centre, rebel women, Reel Equality Film Club and the Sparrows Nest Anarchist Library, to explore how visual materials create space for expression and resistance. Two bodies of work emerged: a series of framed collages using imagery from popular media, to describe the participants personal struggles; set against selected content appropriated from 1970’s/80’s anarchist publications. The latter has been stripped of its context to expand the opportunity for interpretation and to create a resonance with protest today. Taken from social media memes and philosophical texts, the rolling slideshow of anonymous quotes seen on the screen, serves to unite the opposing displays and emphasize their commonalities.

Borrowed from art critic, Nicolas Bourriaud, a rebel scene is a ‘relational space of aesthetic encounter’, a place where of art and social relations converge, oscillating between past and present, and where questions and dialogue can emerge. Without a specific political or social cause at its centre, a rebel scene seeks to activate the individual and unite the collective for every struggle, freedom and fight for equality.



Melanie Kidd

Sunil Shah

Exhibiting artists

Kajal Nisha Patel

Sunil Shah

Taking part

The New Art Exchange

The New Art Exchange

Nottingham, United Kingdom

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