Degrees of Freedom (1) production for 2017 is named “The Republic of Brexitopia”
The Republic of Brexitopia is an imaginary country of the near future. Degrees of Freedom have invited an international group of artists to explore the forms that such a country might take and the forces that might shape it.
Using a mix of participative, performative and provocative strategies the participating artists address not just Brexitopia’s political and economic trajectory, but also the relationship between its citizens, the lure of exceptionalism, and the narrow line between optimism and delusion, utopia and dystopia.
Many of the works are interactive as well as being subversive and humorous: A ballot box that sings, an opportunity to mint one’s own Brexit coins; a jack-in-the-box that confronts one with one’s own fears; traps that catch more than rats; a chance to participate in Brexitopia’s own cult; an immersive video based game that challenges reality; and an invitation to build a city inside the gallery with full scale bricks and columns.
The tone of the artworks varies from the passionate to cool observation, from the committed to wry humour. Some responses are based on personal experience of the artists – a shaken sense of belonging and the feeling of being turned into “the other”. Other responses test the boundaries of patriotism, truth and historical remembrance.
The participative nature of many of the works invites the visitor to reflect on the idea of human agency. They suggest that we don’t have to resign ourselves to the inevitability of this or that future, but that we can choose to be active agents in shaping the future we desire.
Participating artists: Roan Allen , Roelof Bakker, Jenni Bea, Ben Bird, Lizzie Brown, Andy Caruso, Emer Costello, David Dunnico, Ahmed Farooqui, Jake Francis, Livia Garcia, Esperanza Gomez Carrera, Jacqui Grant, Tom Hackett, Christina Lovey, Liana Bortolozzo, Andy Metcalf, Billie Penfold, Marta Pieregonczuk, Laurence Rassat, Marc Renshaw, Louise Scillitoe-Brown, Chia-An Yang.
Degrees of Freedom aim to interrogate the meaning of civic rules and cultural conventions that we live by in our “free” society. Degrees of Freedom produce events and exhibitions on an open call basis, working with artists who share our ethos and values. More info: http://www.degreesof-freedom.com/