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The Shock of the Now - Issue #41

Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Afternoon All,
I hope you’re all well and welcome to Issue 41 of The Shock of the Now.
This issue’s Featured Exhibition is Rafał Zajko’s latest solo exhibition ‘Song to the Siren’ at Cooke Latham. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Rafał a number of times and witnessed the development of his practice whilst completing his MA at Goldsmiths (I contributed an accompanying text to his formidable final degree show). This exhibition further exemplifies his mastery of both material and subject matter, creating an immersive environment that enchants and intrigues in equal measure.
There are also five weekly Recommended Exhibitions and three fresh Artist Opportunities.
I hope you enjoy Issue 41, and if so do forward it along! As always any questions, comments or feedback are welcome, so feel free to get in touch.
All the best, and speak soon, H x

Featured Exhibition: Rafał Zajko - 'Song to the Siren' Solo Exhibition - Cooke Latham Gallery
Modular trichromatic murals set the stage for ‘Song to the Siren’, where Rafał Zajko transports the viewer to a Modernist mission control in keeping with his ongoing exploration into the innate queerness of science-fiction and the artistic possibilities of science fact. The siren of the exhibition’s title - whilst conjuring connotations to both emergency alarms alerting of imminent danger and mythological mermaids whose sweet songs would leave sailors shipwrecked - evokes illusions of industrial action, where sirens would mediate the monotony, signalling a weary workforce to up or down tools with welcome or unwanted wails.
And so, speaker silhouettes, ceramic klaxons and their respective control centres line Cooke Latham‘s gallery space, their faintly figurative forms echoing the artist’s Eastern European upbring and the enduring influence of Soviet-style architecture. One horn-headed cardboard cutout is embellished with brushed bronze nipples, another with illuminated lips locked behind steel mesh, alluring yet inaccessible. Spools of sewing thread and orange extension cords supposedly power the assembled circuitry, while aquatint etchings in hand-cast frames serve as diagrammatic illustrations from a futuristic instruction manual or show storyboarded scenes from a narrative as yet unknown.
A suite of terracotta totems sits atop a cruciform plinth, some heated by single stoves, silently steaming, others awaiting activation. A recent performance staged as part of this year’s London Gallery Weekend saw the space animated by Zajko and collaborator Eve Stainton, who initiated a surrealist call and response or dystopian duet with the now smoking, screeching sculptures. Stainton acted as the submissive subservient worker, observantly obeying the whims of the whistling earthenware. Stamping their feet; stopping and swooning when the siren instructed; inhaling the perfect smoke rings produced by one pouting poor; before unveiling in a cloud of vapour the bust of some alien evolutionary anomaly, its gills exposed and light emanating from its open mouth, perhaps symbolic of the exhibition’s eponymous seductress.
Recommended Exhibitions Opening This Week:
Jakob Rowlinson, Émile-Samory Fofana & Shannon Bono - ‘Summer Season’ Solo Exhibitions - OOF, Tottenham (19th May - 3rd July, opening Thursday 19th May, 6:30-9pm)
OOF Gallery presents solo exhibitions by Jakob Rowlinson, Émile-Samory Fofana and Shannon Bono as part of their ‘Summer Season’. In gallery one, Jakob Rowlinson’s tapestries and hand-embroidered club crests blend football iconography with queer references and quasi-religious imagery. Gallery two is filled with the West African street photography and bootleg football shirt obsessions of French-Malian artist Émile-Samory Fofana. Upstairs, gallery three is home to Shannon Bono’s beautiful new paintings inspired by footballer Chioma Ubogagu.
Edgar Serrano - Solo Exhibition - PM/AM, Fitzrovia (20th May - 7th June, opening Thursday 19th May, 6-9pm)
PM/AM presents Edgar Serrano‘s latest solo exhibition. Serrano’s work blends realities, merging the recognisable, physical world with one based on warped images from popular culture, socio-political references and echoes of a surreal underworld.⁠ Whilst in possession of a jaunty, colourful immediacy, in his work Serrano explores his own cultural background as a child of Mexican immigrants in the US. Here we find the artist interweaving ideas of alienation, anonymity and displacement into the vibrancy that lies on the surface.⁠
Colm Mac Athlaoich - ‘Autrefois’ Solo Exhibition Grove Collective, Battersea (19th May - 18th June, opening Thursday 19th May, 6-8:30pm)
Grove Collective presents ‘Autrefois’, the latest solo exhibition by Brussels-based Irish artist Colm Mac Athlaoich.
Autrefois follows on from my Percept series, where I treated my paintings as tools for exploring the relationship between painting and the photograph; ourselves and the image. Process became both central and conceptual, as in the mark-making was derived from analysing press or publicly published photographs in a way to dismantle the image. In doing so, expanding the time we spend looking and engaging with it, and challenging our understanding of perception. Certain criteria became more important to me, to isolate a narrative, to generate an ‘obedient eye’. Re-structuring of an image allows for new pictorial challenges as well as re-positioning the viewer’s relationship to the subject.” - Colm Mac Athlaoich
Undergraduate Degree Show 2022 - Slade School of Fine Art, Euston (20th-26th May, opening Thursday 19th May, 6:30-9pm)
The Slade School of Fine Art presents their 2022 BA/BFA Degree Show, featuring work from 38 final-year undergraduate artists.
Image: Okiki Akinfe, For Sarah, Oil on canvas, 2021
Love ♡ - Bold Tendencies’ 2022 Visual Arts Programme - Bold Tendencies, Peckham (20th May - 17th September)
Bold Tendencies presents their 2022 Visual Arts Programme ‘Love ♡’, featuring new sculptural commissions that welcome acclaimed international practices alongside new leading voices in contemporary art, with site-specific works by Martin Creed, Rhea Dillon, Nan Goldin, Paloma Proudfoot, Dominique White and Gray Wielebinski, alongside their pre-existing permanent artworks.
Artist Opportunities:
Submissions are now open for the Village Books curated SCREW Gallery billboard. There is no theme. One image will be chosen, but applicants are welcome to submit up to 1-5 images of any medium of image-based artwork (photography, illustration, video stills, painting, collage etc) in portrait format to be displayed on the side of the gallery in Summer 2022. The selected artist will be paid an £80 fee for their participation, with all printing costs covered by Village/SCREW. The banner size is double A0 so a ratio of 1.414:1 however can be accommodated with a border or a tigger crop if the artist allows. Email all submissions as low-res jpegs with the heading ‘SCREW billboard submission’ to This programme is supported with funding from Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council.
Selected through a nationwide open call, Master Class offers the unique and free opportunity for eight emerging artists to work closely with leading international artists. The programme aims to create opportunities for emerging artists to develop their critical artistic voices through artist-led and peer to peer learning. During the week-long intensive programme (27th June - 4th July), artists have the chance to discuss and develop their practices through a series of lectures, tutorials, workshops, studio and gallery visits and seminars. The guest artists for Master Class 2022 are Matthew Day Jackson, Paul Pfeiffer and Anj Smith.
Applications are now open for a new residency programme developed in collaboration with Jerwood Arts and defined to support three early-career visual artists over a period of 18-months. The programme offers studio space in central London, a bursary and project budget to develop a new work to be presented in the Somerset House programme. In addition, artists will receive support and mentoring from the artist community along with wider Somerset House Studios residency benefits, all focused towards developing a sustainable professional practice for the long term. The opportunity is open to early-career visual artists within the first five years of their practice, with a focus on artists who are pushing bold ideas, engaging with urgent issues and pioneering new technologies.
Open School East are seeking applications from emerging artists, makers, producers, researchers and writers of all generations to join the tenth year of Open School East’s independent, self-directed and outward-facing development programme. As an organisation committed to anti-racism, LGBTQIA+ rights and neuro-inclusion, they particularly welcome applications from individuals who identify with this ethos. The Associates Programme is a free development programme offering a critical, informal and non-competitive environment in which to develop your practice and expand your networks. The programme is run according to principles of collaboration, experimentation and openness, and welcomes those who engage with these notions in different ways. The Associates Programme runs for a year and is principally self-directed, creating platforms to experiment and meet long-lasting collaborators and peers.
OUTPOST is delighted to announce the selector of the 2022 Members Show is artist and filmmaker Amartey Golding. Choosing to work within mediums that he is not traditionally trained in, Golding’s work incorporates wig making, ballet and the making of chain mail. Born and raised Rastafarian, Amartey uses the personal context and introspective process to explore the contradictory fabric of the human condition. Facilitated by OUTPOST, Golding will be seeking to showcase the diversity of work contained within the Members’ archive. To be selected you must be an OUTPOST Member. The exhibition will be open to the public from Friday 26 August to Sunday 9 October 2022.
A Space For Art and The Hari Hotel present The Hari Art Prize. The award will be open to all applicants who are self-taught or have graduated in the last two years (2020-2022) from UK art colleges from 4 April until 30 May 2022. A shortlist of artists will be chosen by A Space For Art and an elite panel of judges. Artwork from the shortlisted artists will be showcased at the hotel in an exclusive exhibition from 1 September 2022 until February 2023. The overall winner will be awarded a £10,000 cash grant, generously donated by Dr. Aron Harilela. The two runners up will receive the opportunity to become the next Artists in Residence based at The Hari from January to February 2023, followed by an exhibition of their work at the London hotel. All three finalists will have their work exhibited at The Hari’s newest hotel in Hong Kong.
An open call for projects by Black and People of Colour artists from Lewisham that will be selected by a jury and supported by the festival financially and curatorially. Launched in 2019, Supported is intended to widen access to participation in the festival by providing funding, production, and curatorial support to successful applicants. Applications from people based outside of our local borough will also be considered, provided they can demonstrate how their work will resonate with our geographical context.
Entry is now open for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022. Open to all, it is the leading international competition and celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary photography. The winner of the competition will receive £15,000. In addition, the judges, at their discretion, will award cash prizes to one or more of the shortlisted photographers. The prize winners and exhibition selection are judged on an equal and anonymous basis. In 2021 the exhibition was held at Cromwell Place and featured a total of 54 portraits from 25 artists.
In 2022, the Points International Artist Residency Programme will expand and officially launch a new artist residency in both Wales and London, UK. The new residency space in Wales is due to open in 2022 and is located on the grounds of a seventeenth-century Troy House estate in Monmouthshire. The extensive riverside land will be preserved and transformed to provide exhibition space, artist studios/homes and a Troy House Art research centre, to create a unique ecological environment that encourages diverse, multidisciplinary and experimental contemporary art-making as well as to support artists from around the world to develop their work and research at this location. Points International Artist Residency will invite two international artists for a 1-3 months residency (September - December 2022). The residency will help the artist to develop professionally and build networks as well as provide a supportive environment for research and production. During the residency, Points will organise regular visits and networking events with art world professionals, inviting audiences to discover and access the artists’ studios to foster a greater public engagement as well. The artist-in-residence will have the opportunity to showcase their work at the Foundation’s London space. Points will provide a living allowance of £600 per month, international travel expenses up to £500 and each resident artist will receive a fee of up to £800 for the project (depending on the artist’s final project proposal).
FIELDNOTES is inviting submissions for its fourth issue. They are seeking non-conforming submissions: ideas in transition, poetry in translation, collaborations and conversations, works between genres, between fiction and theory, between text and image, new poetic modes and things-in-progress. FIELDNOTES believe creative work should be paid for and contributors selected from the Open Call will be paid a fee (between £100-£200) for original content not published elsewhere (online or in print). 
D Contemporary is pleased to invite submissions for their popular annual summer exhibition. Looking to investigate the notion of movement through time, space, and stories; this year’s theme Progression presents an opportunity for artists to demonstrate their vision of progress. D Contemporary are interested in artworks of any form/media and the judging panel will curate the exhibition best suited to their unique space in the heart of Mayfair. If selected there will be a fee of £150 per artist to participate. The exhibition will run from July 19th to August 5th at their gallery in 23 Grafton Street, Mayfair.
20/20 is a national programme led by UAL Decolonising Arts Institute. Between now and 2024, they’re looking for 20 emerging artists of colour to take on 15-month paid virtual residencies at these museums, galleries and art collection partners. Each artist will produce a commissioned artwork that will become a permanent piece in their collection. This is the first Call for Artists to take in the 20/20 programme. A second call will open in January 2023. 20/20 is led by UAL Decolonising Arts Institute and funded by Arts Council England, Freelands Foundation and UAL.
V.O Residencies provide emerging and lesser represented artists with the time and space to research and develop new work. The 2022 V.O Residency Programme will host six artists across three sessions, inviting practitioners to experiment and create new work in an open and supportive environment. Residents are provided with free studio space, critical and practical support, the opportunity to present a solo exhibition, and access to useful resources and a broad network of individuals and organisations. V.O aims to bring together diverse voices and encourages applicants from all backgrounds. The V.O Residency Programme is focused on promoting artistic exchange, socially-focused discourse and knowledge production.
V.O Residencies are open to artists in their first five years of professional practice and with less than three solo exhibitions. Each resident is invited to present a solo exhibition or project at V.O Gallery, and will have the possibility of producing a publication or print project related to the work they have developed while in residence.
Exeter Contemporary Open is an annual open submission exhibition, established in 2006 and hosted by Exeter Phoenix, a busy, multi-artform venue and contemporary art space situated in Exeter’s historic city centre. The exhibition aims to provide an important national platform for contemporary visual art with an emphasis on supporting emerging talent alongside more established artists. The exhibition is open to contemporary visual artists working in any media including painting, sculpture, photography, print, drawing, video, mixed and digital media. Each of the artists selected for the exhibition will be eligible for one of several cash prizes: The £1,000 Overall Award, £500 Additional Award and £200 Audience Choice Award – as voted for by visitors over the course of the exhibition. 
The Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University is seeking to appoint two contemporary practitioners to the Stanley Picker Fellowships in Design & Fine Art 2022. Each Fellowship provides up to £16,000 and valuable access to the extensive material workshops, technical resources and expertise within Kingston School of Art and the wider University departments, to support a practice-based, innovative research project that will result in an exhibition of international standing at the Stanley Picker Gallery.
Visions in the Nunnery is the Nunnery Gallery’s renowned showcase of moving image, digital and performance art. The biennial open call is an opportunity to be part of one of the most varied and exciting presentations of moving image in London. Each year they invite lead artists, celebrated for their innovation in the digital field, to head and inspire the exhibition programmes. This year Patrick Goddard and Emily Speed will be leading Visions 2022. Each will be exhibiting work as part of the show, and their thematic ideas will guide the selection process and set the tone for the wider exhibition. 
The Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that administers intellectual property rights on behalf of visual artists. ACS is offering an artist the chance to win £4,500 to contribute to the cost of an artist’s studio in the UK. If you are a UK or EEA national and are an undergraduate or postgraduate university student on an accredited art course who is about to graduate, or if you have graduated from a university accredited art course within the last four years, and you work in pictures, collage, painting, sculpture, tapestry, ceramics, glassware or photography, then you are eligible to apply for the prize.
Mass Correspondence Course is an innovative distance-learning programme of online mentoring facilitated through critical, supportive written reviews by a dedicated mentor. The course is aimed at sculptors based anywhere in the world and at any stage in their career who want to develop or reinvigorate their work, whether recently graduated from art school or those without any formal arts education. 
Turps Correspondence Course is an innovative programme of online mentoring facilitated through critical, supportive written reviews delivered by a dedicated mentor. The course is aimed at painters who want to develop or reinvigorate their work, whether recently graduated from art school, mid-career or those without any formal arts education. The course is designed and structured to be delivered entirely online so that painters, based anywhere in the world and at any stage in their career, can participate and receive informed, critical feedback from a mentor who is a practising painter selected by Turps. There are 5 review points throughout the year when you will be required to upload images of your work and a short statement or ‘letter’ to your mentor. Your mentor will then review what has been uploaded and write their response. It is a very different type of feedback from more conventional face-to-face tutorials but we believe this is what makes the correspondence course such an appealing and sought after professional development course.
FLAMIN Animations is a commissioning programme for early-career black-identifying artist animators living in the UK. Run by Film London and Arts Council England, the programme aims to support artist animators as they take their first steps into a career working with the moving image, with development support and funding for a new work. Launched in 2021, the inaugural round of commissions saw four new 1-3 minute animations made and showcased at London’s Picturehouse Central.
Drawing Room invites proposals that examine critical issues around contemporary drawing. They offer postgraduate students and scholars the chance to field test and peer-review research, and to network and engage with a wider community of academics and specialists. They are now inviting proposals of a high quality that reflect a strong research focus. Proposals should include a summary of your research, outline the key questions it raises and how these will be addressed by your project. Proposals must have an explicit connection to drawing, and discuss why the medium of drawing specifically has been utilised in your research. Selected papers will be presented at the next Drawing Research Forum in September 2022.
The Fringe is a celebration of the area’s art scene, bringing together artists, community groups and students. Over the course of the festival, the Fringe will take over Deptford, placing art in unexpected locations, rooted into the fabric of everyday lives. This year, Deptford X are encouraging Fringe artists to congregate their projects as close as possible to Deptford High Street, creating a hub for a vibrant range of activities for the much-anticipated return of the festival. It will extend across indoor and outdoor spaces motivated by the statement ‘We’re Here for Art’. We are also interested in Fringe projects related to gardening practices seeking to work with a community space. Deptford X is a festival for all and we particularly welcome participation by artists from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and by artists with disabilities.
Personal Projects:
Collective Ending presents ‘Meal Deal’, a two-person exhibition of new work by Niccolo Binda and Donal Sturt.
Inspired by our 2021 exhibition ‘Old Friends, New Friends’, we recently ran our first internal open call, inviting artists whom we have previously worked with to submit proposals for intimate, two-person exhibitions that paired their practice with that of an artist we haven’t exhibited before. Celebrating and spotlighting those artists who continue to excite and inspire us, whilst allowing us to ever-expand our extended community of emerging artists, Meal Deal is the first exhibition selected collectively from those submissions.
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Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator

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