Keith Piper: Unearthing the Banker’s Bones
Adham Faramawy: Janus Collapse (the juice-box edition)


October 28, 2016

Keith Piper: Unearthing the Banker’s Bones
Adham Faramawy: Janus Collapse (the juice-box edition)

Friday, October 28–Sunday, January 22 , 2016

School Lane
Liverpool L1 3BX
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Bluecoat is pleased to announce the launch of two major solo exhibitions by British artists Keith Piper and Adham Faramawy, including newly commissioned work by both artists and the premiere of Piper’s Unearthing the Banker’s Bones, co-commissioned by Bluecoat, Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) and Arts Council Collection.

Keith Piper: Unearthing the Banker’s Bones, comprises three new large-scale works spanning installation, digital works and drawings that address current anxieties about the impacts of globalisation. It is the most substantial presentation of the artist’s work in nearly two decades and celebrates the longstanding relationship between Piper, Bluecoat and Iniva which began over three decades ago.

The centrepiece of the show, Unearthing the Banker’s Bones (2016), is a new Arts Council Collection 70th Anniversary commission comprising of three synchronised high definition video projections, which depict a narrative of economic and social collapse. Drawing on extracts from apocalyptic literary works by Octavia Butler and Mary Shelley, the film employs a science fiction device which invites viewers to imagine the excavation and dissection of modern life from a future point in time. Alongside the film, “physical evidence” such as ledgers belonging to the banker of the title, will be displayed. These objects play off against the unfolding narrative of the film.  

Other highlights of the exhibition at Bluecoat include Robot Bodies, Piper’s 1988 seminal interactive digital work—updated and re-programmed for this exhibition—in which the robot, android and cyborg are examined as metaphorical carriers of contemporary anxieties around racial difference; and a series of mixed media works on unstretched canvas. These “future projected history paintings of the present,” reference 19th century history painting and have been commissioned by Bluecoat and Iniva.  

The exhibition Unearthing the Banker’s Bones has been organized in partnership between Bluecoat and Iniva and is supported by Arts Council Collection. 

Keith Piper was born in 1960 in Malta and studied at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham and the Royal College of Art, London. Along with fellow artists Eddie Chambers, Marlene Smith and Donald Rodney, he was a founder member of the BLK Art Group, an association of black British art students, mostly based in the West Midlands, between 1980-1984. He has exhibited widely, including solo and group exhibitions in the UK, Europe and USA. His work was included in Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic, Tate Liverpool (2010); and Migrations: Journeys into British Art, Tate Britain (2012). 

Adham Faramawy: Janus Collapse (the juice-box edition) is a new solo exhibition by the London based, Dubai born artist. Faramawy is interested in contemporary concerns such as how identity is constructed via technology in the 21st century. His practice spans moving image, sculptural installation and print. The body is central to his practice and is approached as a primary, sensual site in which gender and sexuality are fluid.

At Bluecoat, Faramawy’s work takes the form of a large sticker based piece, concrete pillars and video works, to subvert the language of advertising. In the making of his work Faramawy co-opts the special effects used in advertising to evoke desire for people, things and experiences. The artist combines these seductive devices of brilliance, slipperiness, morphing and repetition with his own interest in the transgressive aesthetics of “body horror,” found in manga and anime such as Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira (1988), as well as Cronenberg’s cult classic Videodrome (1983) and Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis science fiction trilogy. 

Adham Faramawy lives and works in London. Recent group exhibitions include The Green Ray, Wilkinson Gallery, London; E-Vapor-8, Site Gallery, Sheffield; London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London; I’m here but you’ve gone, Fiorucci Art Trust, London; Silica, Galerie Sultana, Paris; Half Abstract, DRAF, London; Post Pop to Post Human: Collage in the digital age, Hayward Touring.

Solo exhibitions include Hydra, Cell Projects, London; Feels Real, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam, and Hyperreal Flower Blossom, VITRINE, London.