From Monday 4 March, Selfridges’ Oxford Street flagship plays host to a new and unexpected artistic intervention. On the shop floor between Chloé and Gucci, artist-curator duo Baker & Borowski present – Like It or Lump It – the latest, largest and most ambitious project in SKIP Gallery’s three-year history.
In collaboration with Selfridge’s nationwide State of the Arts campaign (which also includes events and exhibitions in Birmingham, Manchester and online), SKIP founders Lee Baker and Catherine Borowski have selected three artists-on-the-rise to participate in the provocative month-long programme.
Maja Djordjevic, Paul Kindersley and Claire Pearce are the latest in a growing line of artist collaborators invited to create site-specific artworks for Baker & Borowski’s mobile exhibition programme, centring on a converted skip. Chosen for their playful wit, uncompromising approach and convention-puncturing work, the three follow in the footsteps of David Shrigley, Gavin Turk, Richard Woods and Ben Eine, all of whom have taken on the challenge of creating work for Britain’s most unusual exhibition space.
‘The artists we’ve chosen are like a mash-up of London: an extravaganza of cool, cutting edge, visually sumptuous people who are creating the city’s off-Mayfair cultural scene.’
– Catherine Borowski, co-founder SKIP Gallery
By breaking art out of its expected gallery context and planting it in unexpected environments, Baker & Borowski encourage – perhaps even coerce – the public to confront each artwork head on and consider how its meaning might be influenced by its setting in a receptacle for rubbish. Now it’s the turn of the shoppers of Selfridges. As they pass through the heart of the store and encounter the modified skip, visitors will be invited to consider topics ranging from the playful to the provocative.
Over the course of the month, the three artists of Like It or Lump It will use sculpture, theatre and digital technology to explore subjects ranging from identity, body politics and gender to authenticity and cultural history. While Djordjevic and Kindersley will reveal work in the skip itself, Claire Pearce has been charged with fulfilling Baker & Borowski’s first Fitting Room Residency, which will see one of the store’s changing rooms transform into a playful digital installation for the age of the selfie.
4–17 March: Nothing To Wear Again! by Maja Djordjevic
Serbian-born multidisciplinary artist Maja Djordjevic has built up an international reputation for the tragicomic adventures of her ‘pixel’ nude girl, portrayed in sculpture and oil paintings in the style of MS Paint. For her UK debut, Djordjevic has created ‘Nothing To Wear Again!' – a playfully pink cartoonish skip sculpture with a computer-doodle aesthetic. Through a skip full of strawberry ice-cream topped with giant cherry and two nudes, she uses an ostensibly spirited scenario to explore themes of feminine power and the female gaze.
18–31 March: Ship Of Fools by Paul Kindersley
Inspired by medieval mummers’ plays and Hieronymus Bosch’s 15th-century allegory Ship of Fools, artist, make-up enthusiast and YouTuber Paul Kindersley is transforming the skip into a boat – a ship of fools, in fact. For the last two weeks in March, five characters loosely based on the figures in Bosch’s painting – the Mother, the Father, the Pancake Eater, the Pearl Thief and an owl – engage in a rambling, circular and ultimately inconclusive dialogue. Tasked with putting on a play they are not familiar with, from a script that defies logic, the five actors will create a confounding but unforgettable piece of experimental theatre.
4–10 March: Infernal Desires by Claire Pearce
While the SKIP series unfolds on the shop floor, another intervention will be underway in the changing rooms, as Claire Pearce becomes the first artist to participate in Baker & Borowski’s new Fitting Room Residency programme. Pearce’s work is often rooted in the relationship between contemporary female identity, the internet and popular culture. Comprising two parts, this residency will see Pearce using monitors to project a changing sequence of colours into the fitting room and exploiting the glitches in Snapchat face-recognition to create a series of distorted films and gifs featuring Selfridges team members and mannequins.