Factually Real Illusions

3 Sep 2016 – 9 Sep 2016

Event times

Private View: Monday 5th September 6pm - 9pm

Open to the public: Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th September - 11am - 5pm
Monday 5th - Friday 9th September - 10am - 8pm

Cost of entry


Chelsea College of Arts

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Bus: 2, C10, 36, 77A, 88, 185, 436
  • Tube: Pimlico, Vauxhall

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MA Curating and Collections present 'Factually Real Illusions' - an exhibition featuring works from 25 international artists whose works connect with the themes of Guy Debord's seminal 1967 text 'Society of the Spectacle'.


Factually Real Illusions is an exhibition that takes its name from Guy Debord’s seminal work of 1967, The Society of the Spectacle. In this text, Debord describes the spectacle as an inverted image of society in which relations between commodities have supplanted relations between people. Human interaction has been commoditised within society, an authentic social life of the people replaced by a mere reflection; a factually real illusion. In Debord’s view, the history of the social life can be understood as a gradual decline from ‘being’ into ‘having’ and from ‘having’ into simply ‘appearing’. If in society, as Debord suggests, ‘passive identification with the spectacle supplants genuine activity’, how one can break free from complicity and offer an alternative? 

Factually Real Illusions constructs an ambiguous situation. An exhibition masquerading as production line, reading room as artwork, exhibition as site of production. In a subtle inversion of display conventions, the curatorial processes are exposed, the exhibition as a site for cultural production and non-passive interaction become visible. Artists who use the vehicles and vernacular of capitalism and who work within society’s structural frameworks, and those who interrogate a reading of such transactions have been invited to participate in Factually Real Illusions

Participating artists: Claire Bushby, Martin Creed, Samantha Donnelly, Fischli and Weiss, Alistair Frost, Ryan Gander, Noemie Goudal, Felicity Hammond, Callum Leo Hughes, Dina Kelberman, Agata Lakinska, Andrew Mealor, Takashi Murakami, Richard Nicholson, Michelle Lee Proksell, Prem Sahib, Carla Scott-Fullerton, Alex Taylor, Francis Thorburn, Li Weiyi, Holly White, Gary Woodley, Laura Yuile, Erik Zepka and Toby Ziegler. 

The traditional office space, the nucleus of the spectacle, acts as the central hub of the show from which all activities will flow. The office allows you to interact with artworks directly and file 

Exhibiting artists

Noémie Goudal

Takashi Murakami

Fischli & Weiss

Alex Taylor

Holly White

Michelle Lee Proksell

Andrew Mealor

Erik H Zepka

Agata Lakinska

Prem Sahib

Samantha Donnelly

Richard Nicholson

Dina Kelberman

Martin Creed

Callum Leo Hughes

Toby Ziegler

Alistair Frost

Ryan Gander

Ryan Gander

Felicity Hammond

Francis Thorburn

Laura Yuile

Claire Bushby

Carla Scott Fullerton

Li Weiyi

Gary Woodley

Taking part


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