thu 21/10/2021

Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA | reviews, news & interviews

Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA

Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA

Emerging artists show low-key work that doesn't shout to be heard

Johann Arens ('Untitled', above) 'steals the show with a video installation'

As I wandered round this year’s New Contemporaries at the ICA, a few yards away in Trafalgar Square, thousands of students braved the cold for the third time to protest against the Government’s proposed spending cuts on education. How many art students joined the rally is impossible to tell, since most London art schools have been swallowed up by universities and lost their individual identities in the process. Whereas the high-profile sit-ins of 1968 were orchestrated by students from Hornsey College of Art (now part of Middlesex University) and, 20 years later, students from Camberwell College of Art (now part of the University of the Arts, London) were leading vociferous protests against cuts in art school funding, any art students involved in the current unrest are all but invisible.

As I wandered round this year’s New Contemporaries at the ICA, a few yards away in Trafalgar Square, thousands of students braved the cold for the third time to protest against the Government’s proposed spending cuts on education. How many art students joined the rally is impossible to tell, since most London art schools have been swallowed up by universities and lost their individual identities in the process. Whereas the high-profile sit-ins of 1968 were orchestrated by students from Hornsey College of Art (now part of Middlesex University) and, 20 years later, students from Camberwell College of Art (now part of the University of the Arts, London) were leading vociferous protests against cuts in art school funding, any art students involved in the current unrest are all but invisible.

These exhibitors don’t set out to please or seduce which, paradoxically, makes their work more engaging and far more pleasurable

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