The exhibition Capital Failures at the Contemporary Istanbul art fair will showcase a selection of artworks by British artist Jordan McKenzie. The exhibition is part of an international collaboration that questions contemporary aesthetic practices and definitions of capital. Curated by Lanfranco Aceti, the selection of artworks provides the viewer with alternative perspectives of capital and failure than those offered within the parameters and definitions of contemporary capitalism.

The artist challenges the way in which we look at and live within contemporary society by using a series of critical video artworks of his performances, prints of sculptural objects derived from everyday objects such as jelly beans and sweets bought by the artist on the last day of operations of Woolworths’ Group Plc, and prints of tenants’ notices posted within a council estate in London.

Capital Failures encapsulates a world of failure and collapse that the artist has transformed into ironic and complex imageries of contemporary society by adopting the lens of a traditional and at times perverse British sense of humor. Coming into the fore from the depths of a localized and hidden world abandoned to the margins, these artworks compel the viewer to confront the images of the victims of a social and economic crisis that do not want to ‘go quietly’ and that do not want to ‘be swept under the rug.’

Jordan McKenzie embodies the conflict of appearance/disappearance, order/disorder and riches/poverty through an aesthetic that is in direct conflict with the Body Politic forms of representation and idealization of a British society in a downward spiral. The council estate – the place where misery is relegated and ghettoized – becomes the place where to criticize the patronizing forms of collective inclusion and humane support. McKenzie’s artworks become the voice of a silenced protest, the images of a life of misery that could not exist in the circles of high art unless they were aestheticized, polished and sanitized. The underlying hypocrisies of contemporary society surface through a series of contradictions that the artist pits one against the other in a process of ridiculing ‘the system.’

With the gracious support of Arts Council England and the British Council. Thanks to Plugin director Ceren Arkman.

Exhibition Dates: November 13, 14, 15, 16, 2014. Preview November 12, 2014.
Curator: Lanfranco Aceti
Artist: Jordan Mckenzie


Jordan Mckenzie

Jordan McKenzie is a visual performance artist whose work has been exhibited in numerous national and international galleries including Yorkshire Sculpture Park, United Kingdom, Museu Serralves, Portugal, DOLL exhibition space, Switzerland, International Performance Art Festival, Russia, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol England, Tate Britain and the ICA. McKenzie has received major awards to examine Performance and the Quotidian and has been an artist-in-residence at Sutra, Bhaktapur, Nepal and I-Park, Massachusetts, USA.

Lanfranco Aceti

Lanfranco Aceti works as an artist, curator and academic.  His artistic practice is informed by an analysis of the crisis of contemporary society and the role that post-media play in redefining issues of participation, aesthetics and interventions in public spaces. He has exhibited artworks at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London, at the AND Festival, the Athina International Art Fair and done digital interventions at TATE Modern, The Venice Biennale, MoMA, the Neue Nationalgalerie, the ICA and the Irish Museum of Modern Art and participated in numerous fairs, exhibitions and biennials.

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