Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire at Saatchi Gallery: Criticising and poking fun at the divided, uncertain world

There’s no topic more relevant than social satire, and Black Mirror – the new free exhibition that opens on the 28th of September at Saatchi Gallery – explores the role of the art in criticising the social landscape and the undercurrents of uncertainty that influence contemporary art.

black mirror art as social satire
Alejandra Prieto, Coal Mirror, 2011. Coal. Courtesy of Saatchi Gallery.

With 26 artists on display and a variety of techniques (including collage, caricatures, photography and installation), Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire depicts the role of art in commenting on the state of divisive politics of modern times and the relief it brings to the audiences that engage with it.

The showcase curates a selection of the most exciting works from contemporary artists who make the modern world the focus of their artworks, exposing the worries and modern obsessions we collectively succumb to.  These include pieces from Richard Billingham, a Turner prize nominee whose photography series focused of his parents Ray’s A Laugh pioneered squalid realism by confronting the art world with poverty, Aleksandra Mir’s newspaper parody that  subverts the phrase “fake news” by crudely drawing on the publications with childlike tools (and addresses the state of freedom of media in Poland), as well as Chilean sculptor Alejandra Prieto who transforms discarded coal lumps into beautiful, lavish objects that challenge class divide and commodification of luxury over function.

A full list of artists can be found below:

Simon Bedwell, Richard Billingham, Steve Bishop, Clayton Brothers, Michael Cline, Jessica Craigmartin, Justin Craun, Aaron Fowler, Gao Brothers, Valerie Hegarty, David Herbert, James Howard, Des Hughes, Scott King, Douglas Kolk, Wendy Mayer, Dominic Mcgill, Aleksandra Mir, Alejandra Prieto, Ben Schumacher, Anne Speier, Roman Stanczak, John Stezaker, Jade Townsend, Marianne Vitale, Bedwyr Williams.

 

black mirror art as social satire
Justin Craun, Sweetie, 2007. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Saatchi Gallery.

All featured artists question societal mores, visualise the times of unrest, and poke fun at the systems that are difficult to challenge otherwise. Their artworks showcase the importance of art and satire in dismantling the toxic power structures and provide a break from these modern anxieties to the audiences who recognise these from the world that surrounds them.

 

Entry to the exhibition is free. It opens on the 28th of September 2018 and will run until the 13th of January 2019.

Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire, Saatchi Gallery. Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY. 28th of September 2018 – 13th of January 2019. Opening times: 10am-6pm, 7 days a week, last entry 5:30pm.

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