Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness | Group Exhibition at The MAC


20 October to 14 January

Artist John Walter curates the new Hayward Touring exhibition Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness, which launches at the MAC before embarking on a national tour to Dundee Contemporary Arts and Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre. The exhibition aims to explore the nature of visual awkwardness through the work of artists and architects Arakawa and Gins; Cosima von Bonin; Niki de Saint Phalle; Benedict Drew; Justin Favela; Duggie Fields; Louise Fishman; Friedensreich Hundertwasser; Kate Lepper; Andrew Logan; Plastique Fantastique; Jacolby Satterwhite; Tim Spooner and John Walter.

Shonky is a slang term meaning corrupt or bent, shoddy or unreliable, standing here for a particular type of visual aesthetic that is hand-made, deliberately clumsy and lo-fi, against the slick production values of much contemporary art. This exhibition proposes a more celebratory definition of ‘shonkiness’, showing how it can be used for critical purposes in the visual arts to explore issues including gender, identity, beauty and the body. By drawing together artists and architects whose work has not previously been exhibited together or discussed within the same context, Shonky will allow for new ways of thinking that privilege shonkiness over other aesthetic forms that have dominated recent visual culture.

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