Jeremy Hutchison (b. 1979) Working across performance, sculpture, text and video, he constructs situations that insert disobedience and confusion into hegemonic structures. Many of his projects intervene in systems of production, exploring the relationship between consumerism and Empire.
He has exhibited internationally, including recent shows at the ICA, London; Modern Art Oxford; V&A Museum, London; Z33, Hasselt; Nassauischer Kunstverein, Weisbaden; EVA International Biennale, Limerick; Saatchi New Sensations, London; Rurart, Poitiers; Qalandiya Biennale, Ramallah; Fondazione Prada, Athens; Jerwood Space and Southbank Centre, London. He received a distinction from the Slade School of Fine Art (London, 2011) and was a member of the Whitney Independent Study Programme (New York City 2014-15). He is an associate lecturer at Goldsmith's College and London College of Communication.
Content Provider (2020)
This video features a series of self portraits, made of white tack. The artist stole this material from an office where he works as a freelancer.
Like white tack, the freelancer is flexible. He bends around his clients, manipulating his schedule, ethics and creativity to suit their terms. But in doing so, he joins a non-unionised workforce. An alienated pool of disembodied brains, who compete for any precarious employment contract.
Hutchison's army of gargoyles appear in an animated film, set in his employer's office. Accompanied by a euphoric house track, they sing fragments of text that he has written for corporate clients - urging us to try soya milk, open life insurance accounts, or switch mobile phone contracts.
The video was developed in collaboration with a team of freelance creatives: Adam Dewhirst (animator), Pierre Tardif (creative coder), Oisin Byrne (singer songwriter), Donal Sweeney (composer), Adam Wiseman (photographer) and Sam Britton (sound designer).
To be exhibited at Royal Society of Sculptors (London)
Legal Requirements (2018)
An artist outsources his creative process to Japanese law enforcement. Each work in this project follows instructions that were issued by members of the Hokkaido Police Department.
Commissioned by S-Air (Sapporo) and Arts Catalyst (London)
Exhibited at Naebono Arts Space, Sapporo, 2018
A series of charitable donations are imported from the Global North, purchased from a market in Senegal and presented on the wall of a gallery.
Commissioned by Raw Material Company (Dakar)
Exhibited at Chauffeur (Sydney), Division of Labour (London)
This project begins with a photo, taken by police at the Balkan borders. It shows the inside of a Mercedes car. The headrests have been torn open to reveal a person hiding inside each seat. Attempting to disguise themselves as inanimate objects, the two men seek the same freedom of movement as consumer goods.
This is translated into a series of photo collages. Combining elements of marketing and high-end fashion, the work enacts an anthropomorphic fusion between the male form and the consumer product. Printed on advertising banners, they are presented at monumental scale and inserted into the generic messaging of globalized consumption.
Commissioned by Fondazione Prada
Exhibited at Driftwood, or How We Surfaced Through Currents, 2017 (Athens); Transnationalisms (Aksioma, Ljubljana; Drugo More, Rijeka; Furtherfield, London)
This project constructs a counter-history of Palestine. Invoking a blue land ravaged by colonisation, it describes a dazzling geological phenomenon: vast quarries of raw indigo. Through a series of fictions and distortions, the work is a critical engagement with the uncertainty that pervades Palestine's borders, topologies and geopolitical status.
To produce this work, Hutchison collaborated with a denim producer based in Nablus. For six months, the factory operated under the immediate sightline of an Israeli tank, labouring with the threat of imminent obliteration. This work intersects the production of consumer goods with the production of history, examining the subjective distortions that take place in each process.
Commissioned by Delfina Foundation / British Council / Art School Palestine
Presented at ICA (London), 37th EVA Biennale (Limerick), Blackwood Gallery (Toronto), Division of Labour (Salford)
Professional hand models are employed for a commercial shoot. They are instructed to squeeze lumps of clay and model these for a camera. This process is documented by an advertising photographer.
As they work, the models are interviewed. They discuss the political dimension of their profession. Notably, the casting of caucasian hands by commercial advertisers. As one model explains, her hand is as an archetype: it is clean, even-toned, white. It represents the hand of the 'normal' consumer. The privileging of white hands on the part of advertisers points to the normalising rhetoric that structures consumer discourse.
Co-commissioned by Rurart, Poitiers and Radar, Loughborough University
Presented at Watermans, London; Modern Forms, London
Fuzzy Front End (2019)
This video features a series of conversations between the artist and product design agencies. He presents them with a revolutionary innovation: a ball of intelligent clay that instantly manifests the consumer's unconscious desires.
As affective computing opens up the consumer psyche to new forms of exploitation, this ludicrous proposition explores how capitalism’s machanic imaginary might bring about its own orgasmic conclusion.
These conversations form the soundtrack to a promotional film that is inserted as a screensaver in Mac stores across London.
Commissioned by Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (NYC)
Exhibited at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (NYC), Lewisham Arthouse (London), Deptford X (London), 2019
Golpes is a drawing on the walls of a project space. It was made by a mechanic who is ordinarily employed to identify the dents in car bodies. For this installation, he was commissioned to identify the imperfections in the gallery walls.
Exhibited at Crispr (Bogota), 2018
The Harmattan is a northeasterly trade wind. Each year, it blows thousands of tonnes of sand across West Africa. It covers entire cities in dust. It irritates peoples' skin and creates respiratory problems. It is an ugly wind.
But the history of this wind is uglier still. The Harmattan was the original 'trade wind'. Portuguese colonial settlers used the Harmattan to navigate ships from Africa to Europe. Their trade was slaves.
These drawings engage with dust - the most ephemeral matter - to link past and present. They offer a reflection on the way in which racist narratives perpetuate within the structures of mobility and urban space. Using car windscreens as their canvas, they reflect on questions around the freedom of movement, and the contradictions inherent in my own subject position. While any British man is entitled to travel to Senegal, the reverse is not the case.
Commissioned by Raw Material Company, Dakar
Exhibited at Jerwood Drawing Prize, London; Ko Projects, London
Anfora is a ceramics factory in Mexico. It serves US clients - producing all the cups for Starbucks in North America. This project developed out of conversations in the workers’ canteen. About the employees’ experience of labour under globalisation. About the potential collapse of NAFTA under a Trump administration. About the physiological effects of long-term precarity. One worker described his situation as a state of permanent earthquake. This project pre-enacts this improbable geological phenomenon.
Objectless Expansion (2015)
This project addresses the co-option of the colour cyan by Silicon Valley. Skype, Twitter, Vimeo, DropBox, Windows 8 are among many brands to incorporate cyan into their corporate identities. Connoting freedom, formlessness, limitlessness, this colour is deployed in order to mystify the material and economic realities around our digital activity.
For this work, every surface of a gallery is painted cyan. A video shows a digital rendering of the gallery, multiplied through a labyrinth of infinite spaces. The soundtrack to this film is the voice of a Skype user who the artist contacted via an unsolicited request. In intricate detail, this individual describes the room from which he speaks, on the twenty-fourth storey of a residential building in Beijing, China.
This work explores how the digital network facilitates new forms of domination: by supporting new horizons of reach, narrow forms of reason can expand to become a global norm. In this process, terms like ’domestic’, ‘imperial’ and ‘international’ become tangled up in a much larger complex: one that operates in the deterritorialised field of the imaginary.
Presented at Christine Koenig Galerie, Vienna; Division of Labour, Worcester; Harpers Bazaar Art Arabia.
Demand and Supply (2013)
An artist is invited to create work for a Swiss art fair. He outsources his creative control to an investment banker. The banker instructs the artist to find an anti-capitalist protester, who can spray whatever he wants onto eleven white boards. The banker instructs the artist to play the role of gallerist. Any profits are split between them.
This project investigates the recuperation of radical aesthetics by the contemporary art market. Hijacking the market's appetite for the surface of political protest, it explores the potential for political protest to remain intact - even become more toxic - within the frenzy of a capitalist marketplace. The work sold to a private collector, and is featured in the book Global Corporate Collections, published by Deutsche Standards.
Presented at Liste 18, Basel
Commissioned by de Appel Gallerist Programme, Amsterdam
Winner of the Sotheby's Artist Award, 2015