The curators of British Art Show 9, Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar, have made their artist selection after extensive research and travel across the UK. Many of the participating artists are developing new works for the exhibition, including significant new commissions supported by Art Fund, while others are presenting ambitious recent works which have not previously been seen in Britain.
BAS9 has been developed at a precarious moment in Britain’s history that has brought politics, narratives of identity and questions of agency to the centre of public consciousness. The artists presented in the exhibition respond in critical ways to this complex context; imagining more hopeful futures and exploring new modes of resistance.
The artists in BAS9 look at how we live with and give voice to difference, while also extending our understanding of identity to beyond the human. Their projects often blur the boundaries between art and life, and imagine alternative futures. Through their works, they propose alternative economies and ways of living together that emphasise commonality, collaboration and care.
The culmination of Simeon Barclay’s commission for BAS9 is displayed at Manchester Art Gallery. Precariously Perched on the Edifice of Ruins (2021-2022), made possible by Art Fund support, consists of video, sound, sculpture and neon works which touch on sampling, de-industrialisation, cultural hierarchy, self fashioning, class and taste. The neon work reimagines one of Auguste Rodin’s most famous sculptures, The Age of Bronze (1877) which is displayed in the entrance hall of Manchester Art Gallery.
The exhibiting venues in Manchester are: Manchester Art Gallery; HOME; Castlefield Gallery; The Whitworth.