Kingston University Postgraduate Fine Art students derived their title Show Business from the original Irving Berlin song written in 1946 for the musical Annie Get Your Gun; a fictional adaptation of real life in the untamed frontier lands. Travelling ‘Wild West’ shows sought to glamorise the struggles of outlaws, cowboys and Native Americans, but the reality for most people in the audience was that life in the emerging west was bleak.
A degree exhibition can be viewed as another form of travelling show. Each year a group of international artists put together a body of work which is displayed for a week or two and then taken down, emptying the stage for the following year’s cast. Aligning the notion of a degree show with the Wild West show is an investigation into myth-making, those attending hoping to be both entertained and perhaps distracted, just for a while, from the mundane aspects of everyday life. Exhibiting artists include Melenie Batstone-Carr, Chloe Chiu, Jenna Lee Eaton, Pandora Hadjichristoforou, Jeeeun Hong, Samantha Y. Huang, Paul David Mitchell, Josh Healey Lapena, Shuang Li, Hyemi Lim, Laurelin Paterson, Nasos Moukoulis, Christina Prudente, Benjamin Med- Phillips, Josh Rowell, Maria Vesterinen and Hillary Han.
In the Postgraduate Photography exhibition students explore the multifaceted and evolving forms of modern photography, new convergent technologies which are impacting practices and redefining photography. The works explore an active engagement with social media and Instagram to the precariousness of life and its representation to work that reads like a series of haiku (brief poems) inflected with a playful performativity of gender. From collage to moving image and sculptural works, the exhibition offers an insight into the rich landscape of contemporary photography and visual culture. Exhibiting students are Chilyn Chen, Kate Cowdrey, Hazel L Davies, Doris Himmelbauer, Karina Holland, Juan S Ochoa Laverde, Zbigniew Mroz and John Rovira
Show Business will be displayed at the Stanley Picker Gallery (22-26 Sep 11am – 5pm) and the neighbouring Centre for Useless Splendour. The Postgraduate Photography exhibition will be in Studio NE112, Knights Park Campus, Kingston University (21-27 Sep 10am-5pm / until 4pm Sun 27).