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Exhibition Dates: August 18- September 29, 2017

British artist John Walter will transform Artlink's gallery space into a multi-media, multi-sensory and immersive show, exploring the relationship between visual culture and HIV today. The project is a capsule version of Walter's 2015 exhibition Alien Sex Club, which was previously exhibited at Ambika P3 in London and at Homotopia festival in Liverpool. Alien Sex Capsule invokes the idea of the cruise maze - a structure commonly found in sex clubs and gay saunas that may encourage sexual risk - as a leitmotif for organising a range of artworks that update the representation of HIV in our current era of PrEP. Using the maze as a directive mechanism Walter guides the viewer through a carnival like space filled with painting, sculptural and video pieces converging conversation and research on the complex subject of contemporary sexual health today. Walter engages audiences in sensitive issues using tragicomic humour and visual excess.

Dr John Walter (born 1978, Dartford) studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, The Slade School of Fine Art UCL, and recently completed a PhD in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at The University of Westminster. His installations are grounded in theoretical and empirical research, and they seduce visitors into engaging with complex and often uncomfortable subjects such as sexual health through his exuberant use of colour, humour and hospitality. Walter creates fictions that begin with his personal experience and quote the voices of others, weaving them together into new epic works. The term Maximalist, which best describes his work, refers to an additive practice that values the relationships between things rather than their qualities in isolation. Walter's work is visually intricate, returning to specific lexicons of imagery such as tarot cards, which allow meanings to develop within multiple contexts. He is currently working on a new collaboration with professor Greg Towers at UCL, CAPSID, which will be exhibited at CGP in London and HOME in Manchester in 2018. He is also curating Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness for Hayward Touring opening at The MAC in Belfast in October 2017.

 

 

 

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