Exhibition Opening - Iván Argote: 'An Idea of Progress'

22 Jan 2016 – 19 Mar 2016

Event times

Mon-Fri: 09:00 - 17:00
Sat: 12:00 - 18:00

Cost of entry



England, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 26 & 48 from Liverpool Street, 106 & 254 from Bethnal Green, 55 from Old Street
  • Tube: Bethnal Green, Liverpool Street
  • Hackney Central Overland or London Fields Station

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Iván Argote’s new work, 'An Idea of Progress', is centred on the metaphor of the construction site as a contemporary urban monument to power and progress. It includes a banner covering the entire facade of SPACE Mare Street and a film and series of sculptures.


Iván Argote’s new work An Idea of Progress includes an ambitious large- scale banner covering the facade of SPACE Mare Street and in the gallery, a film and series of sculptures. The project is centred on the metaphor of the construction site as a contemporary urban monument to power and progress. The development site—encircled by a glossy hoarding promoting a fictional, inaccessible lifestyle— is presented as the symbol for exploring the complexities of gentrification. This global epidemic is not solely specific to Hackney, but is an on-going issue that has been present within the east London borough since the 1970s.

Conducting interviews with Hackney residents, Argote attempts to discover what might be an actual desirable addition to Hackney. He combines these findings to create an equally fictional structure, yet picturing real and local desires. The depicted building sits in contrast to appropriated images and 

phrases from current hoardings in Hackney to humorously scrutinise the absurdity of the displays and their associated jargon: what exactly is the ‘future’s future’? Argote’s hoarding at SPACE examines the power and potential in illustrating an alternative and collective development.

A commissioned essay on An Idea of Progress written by David Madden will be available online and at SPACE.

Iván Argote (b. Bogotá, Columbia) is based in Paris. His work probes the role of subjectivity within historical, economic, political and moral realms. Through subversive methods and with a distinctly sensual treatment, the artist creates interventions for public space, often further developed into videos, photos and sculptures. The symbol of the public monument reappears as a target to interrogating dominant mechanisms of power and authority. Argote explores the city as a space of transformation and potentiality.

His works have been shown internationally including: Insitu, Berlin; Galeria ADN, Barcelona (solo); Screen Space, Melbourne; CIFO Foundation, Miami and 5th Thessaloniki Biennale, Thessaloniki in 2015. DT Project, Brussels (solo); Galeria Vermelho, Sao Paulo (solo) and Galerie Perrotin, Paris (solo) in 2014. Palais de Tokyo, Paris (solo); Moving Museum, Dubai and Museo Carrilo Gil, México City in 2013. The 30th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo; CA2M, Madrid (solo) and Joan Miró Fundation, Barcelona in 2012, among others. 


Walking Tour & Artist Talk with Ran-tanning: Fri 19 Feb 18:30 – 20:00
SPACE Mare St & offsite, FREE

Story-telling & Zine-making Workshop: Sat 20 Feb 13:00 – 17:00
SPACE Mare Street, £10

Open Forum Planning Session: Wed 16 Mar 18:30 – 20:00 SPACE, Mare Street, FREE

For further information: persilia@spacestudios.org.uk


Persilia Caton

Exhibiting artists

Iván Argote

Taking part


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