Follow Us on Twitter

Dispersion - Institute of Contemporary Arts

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AN EXHIBITION entitled Dispersion will be on display in the Lower and Upper Galleries of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) from December 3, 2008 to February 1, 2009.

Dispersion presents seven international artists – Henrik Olesen, Hito Steyerl, Seth Price, Anne Collier, Hilary Lloyd, Maria Eichhorn and Mark Leckey – who work with photography, film, video and performance.

All of these artists explore the appropriation and circulation of images in contemporary society, examining the role of money, desire and power in our accelerated image economy – from the art market to the internet, from art historical icons to pornography.

The works in Dispersion often take the form of archives, histories or collections, sometimes adopting an anthropological approach. In many cases, they are characterised by an interest in feminism and gender politics in the realm of sexuality and sub-culture. All the works, however, are informed by personal or idiosyncratic narratives, exploring the role of subjectivity in the contemporary flow of imagery and capital.

The title Dispersion is drawn from an essay written by participating artist Seth Price, which reflects on the role of ‘distributed media’ in avant-garde practice, from Duchamp to Conceptualism.

The exhibition has been curated for the ICA by Polly Staple, the recently appointed director of the Chisenhale, London, and includes six gallery-based presentations as well as a special performance – Mark Leckey’s The Long Tail – in the ICA Theatre on January 9, 2009 (tickets available from the ICA box office on 020 7390 3647).

Dispersion is accompanied by an exhibition publication in the form of a ‘reader’, reproducing a lead essay by Polly Staple, and a variety of existing and new texts on the participating artists and the wider themes of the exhibition.

Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH