12 April - 23 June 2019
Preview: Thursday 11 April, 6.30 – 8.30pm
In his new installation, devised especially for Camden Arts Centre, Jonathan Baldock (b. Pembury, UK) explores contemporary ‘primitivism’ to create a darkly humorous world in which his works are cast as characters in an alternate reality. Borrowing its title from Orwell’s dystopian future fable, ‘1984’, Facecrime meshes together ceramics, basketry, hand-spun yarn, textiles and sound, through precariously stacked, monolithic ceramic columns that crowd and teeter through the gallery space.
Inspired by ancient Syrian cuneiform-inscribed tablets, Baldock pays homage to an alternative history of clay as a tool of communication that defiantly stands the test of time. Bringing early human script into dialogue with the fastest growing contemporary language, emoji, Baldock explores the modes and materials of communication employed by humans across time and cultures – from antiquity to the modern day. Facecrime evokes an absurd and unsettling ruin of the future, where the elusive, slippery, inscrutability of language becomes something irrepressible, vital and alive.
Supported by Freelands Foundation
Jonathan Baldock was in residence as the Freelands Lomax Ceramics Fellowship at Camden Arts Centre in 2017-18. His work has been shown internationally with recent solo shows including: There's No Place Like Home, CGP, London; My Biggest Fear Is That Someone Will Crawl Into It, SPACE, London, Jonathan Baldock, OneWork Gallery, Vienna (2017); The Skin I Live in, Nicelle Beauchene, New York (2016); The Soft Machine, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff; Hot Spots,The Apartment, Vancouver (2014) and A Strange cross between a Butcher's Shop and a Nightsclub, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (2013).
Two person shows include the touring show Love Life: Act 1,2 & 3 (with Emma Hart), De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill; Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; and PEER, London (2016-2018); Warm Bodies (with Olga Balema), Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, (NL) (2014). Group shows include Offshore, artists explore the sea, Maritime Museum, Hull (2017): Conversation Piece - Part 3, Fondazione Memmo, Rome (IT); Baldock Pope Zahle, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland; Seepferdchen und Flugfische, Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen (Germany) (2016); Archetypes, Power, and Puppets, College of Wooster Art Museum (CWAM), Wooster, OH (USA); Only the Lonely / Seuls les solitaires (curated by Elina Suoyrjö), La Galerie centre d’art contemporain, Paris (Fr) (2015)
He also has several forthcoming shows including: Barakat Contemporary, Seoul, S.Korea (August 2019) and Belmacz, London (October 2019).