The Royal College of Art RAGE Collective, made up of International, EU and British RCA Fine Art students working together with Peter Kennard, RCA Senior Tutor, present The Odious Smell of Truth. This group exhibition offers a timely opportunity to see how emerging artists are reacting to global issues, from populism, national identity, human rights, demagoguery, war and economic crisis.
Peter Kenndard, Britain’s most important political artist, will present work on economic inequality, nuclear build up, President Trump and the state of the nation. Stemming from his influence, students will present new politically charged artwork in the form of print, installation, sound, video and paint derived from their different international standpoints and personal histories.
Together, Mark Langston (Moving Image) and Eugenia Popesco (Print) consider the state of the nation and present Poundland, a film that documents the contemporary and historical context of Prince Charles’s new village of Poundbury in Dorset and captures meetings with some of the people who live there. Eugenia Popesco will also exhibit We’ll Die in the Class We’re Born, a mixed media installation made in direct response to the Brexit vote, featuring a sculptural replica of a tank trap from the Second World War, printed to look like a fairground toy. Whilst Tamara Kametani (Contemporary Art Practice) comments on the EU asylum policies and Francis Olvez-Wilshaw (Sculpture) addresses economic collapse.
Shinyoung Park (Print) and Hyun Kim (Sculpture) explore corruption and internalised power in South Korea. Hyun Kim uses photo decoupage and collage to dramatic effect. Similarly, Amy Cornfield (Print) uses photomontage alongside installation and graffiti to address the complexities of heritage and the persistence of racism in South Africa.
In a powerful work, Filipino artist Rhine Bernardino (Sculpture) gives a human face to the 7000 victims of President Rodrigo Dutere’s ‘war’ on drugs in the Philippine’s by laboriously taking individual rubbings from peso coins to create a total of 7000 prints, each one as unique as each victim. In another rousing work, Amale Khat (Print) uses sound and video to reconstruct of war memories through a fugue of voices and images.
Bonnie Wong (Print) uses comic strip to reflect the farcical nature of public speeches as portrayed in the media, such as by Donald Trump or during the pro-police rally in Hong Kong. As a direct response to contemporary American politics, Paul Coombs (Moving Image) presents a new American flag where the stripes flip to become bars and Camilla Mora Scheihing (Print) explores the precise moment when an act of government alters the lives of its citizens forever, by staging a coup or building a wall