CUTUP COLLECTIVE – Reclaiming Public Spaces

by Red Cell

CutUp is a collaborative group of artists in London that attempt to disrupt and reorder the urban landscape by means of exploring new territories of intervention and re-appropriating established visual forms. Much of their work is done in the name of play. “Our definition of play is to deliberately break the rules and invent our own, thus freeing creative activity from restrictions, to redesign aesthetic and revolutionary actions that undermine or elude social control.” – CutUp, 2006. CutUps’ practice incorporates collage, film and installation and focuses largely on the creative potential of the street as a site for interventionist art, disruption and disquiet as discussed by Walter Benjamin and the Situationists. They reclaim existing spaces like street furniture, billboards and advertising without adding anything new, recycling what was there already. CutUps billboard and bus stop works are created by slicing up an advert and reassembling the pieces into a newly ordered image.

From the SEVENTEEN Gallery website: The exterior of the gallery will be boarded up, and the boards perforated by drilling, creating imagery through the dispersion of light from within. The interior of the gallery will house a wooden, cubic structure, echoing the exterior it is also pierced. Inside the box is a new film projection, in which a four-sided tower of drilled boards is at first illuminated and then consumed by a fire started in its centre. Around this structure sit a number of new collaged and re-ordered advert works, housed in light boxes, and the gallery is dominated by a new sound installation (Ed. see pic below of the piece Durational Sound Installation, 94 speakers, mini disks and circuit boards). The show extends further outside the gallery space in the form of CutUps outdoor interventions on the streets of London, which have already started to appear, and should endure after the show closes.

CutUp live and work in London. Their work has been featured in Design Week, Adbusters, IDN (Japan), YEN (Australia), Black Book (New York), Hackney Gazette and most recently on Resonance FM. They have been reviewed by the BBC and featured by the Wooster Collective. Recent projects include Satellites, curated by i-cabin at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York and La Vida Te Espera at NIU Gallery, Barcelona.

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SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2009 – Non-Linear Harbinger Systems, James Taylor Gallery, London
2008 – CutUp, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead
2008 – Hotel Grand Abyss, SEVENTEEN, London
2008 – Markov Chain Monte Carlo, Louise T. Blouin Institute, London
2007 – New Work, site specific works in Hackney Wick, E9
2006 – Out of the ruins of the real… SEVENTEEN, London
2005 – CutUp Machine, SEVENTEEN, London
2005 – CutUp Show, Kemistry, London

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2009 – Natural Wonders, Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow
2007 – CutUp. Installation. Conflux Festival, New York
2007 – Play, URBIS, Manchester
2006 – Stealth, Kulturhuset Mazetti, Malmo
2006 – Satellites, curated by i-cabin at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
2006 – La Vida Te Espera, NIU Gallery, Barcelona
2006 – Art in the Office: New Acquisitions, Arts Council England

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