Faculty of Art, Media & Design   » Faculty of Architecture & Spatial Design    
 
Faculty Courses Research Archive

Home
Overview
How to Apply
Contact
News & Events Archive

Pre-Degree
Undergraduate
Postgraduate
Short Courses
International Students

Ethos
Groups
Staff Research
Students
RAE 2008

Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design

The English: Are You Human?, a site specific work by Per-Oskar Leu

The English: Are You Human? (a detail)


 

PER-OSKAR LEU
THE ENGLISH: ARE THEY HUMAN?

CURA. in collaboration with 1/9 unosunove gallery, rome

presents

PER-OSKAR LEU
THE ENGLISH: ARE THEY HUMAN?

LONDON METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY
41-47 COMMERCIAL ROAD, LONDON

OPENING: Friday 3 February at 5pm
UNTIL FEBRUARY 29

www.commercialroadproject.com

Per-Oskar Leu’s THE ENGLISH: ARE THEY HUMAN? marks the second intervention in the London Metropolitan University display window for the Commercial Road Project, an event cycle involving Italian and International artists represented by five galleries in Rome.

Designer sportswear, customized car sunshades, window repair tools and electrical cooling fans make up Leu’s site-specific installation; a mechanized tableaux revolving (quite literally) around motifs of fashion, Futurism and football hooliganism. Within the group of objects, all mounted directly onto the large glass panes, two Italian made jackets form the focal point: Named after a 1920’s car race, the Mille Miglia parka with integrated goggles and iconic ‘built for speed’ appearance has become a sought-after garment among football fans with inclinations towards fighting and luxury apparel. Since the early 1980’s groups of British ‘risk supporters’ have embraced a dress code of upmarket, mainly French and Italian sportswear brands, a look which has in turn been adapted by fans in Europe following an increase in ‘The English Disease’ of football hooliganism. Simultaneously, Leu conjures up imagery from other cross-cultural phenomena equally fixated upon the cult of youthful aggression; namely the Italian Futurist movement and its English offshoot the Vorticist group, founded in 1909 and 1913 respectively.

Dating from opposite ends of the 20th century, both Futurism and football ‘casuals’ promote a form of stylized violent catharsis, and share a deep-rooted anti-academic sentiment. Perhaps consequently, both movements have been known to harbour far-right sympathies. Reflecting on the aesthetics of brutality and current tendencies towards recreational violence, Leu brings together present-day football aggro with the Futurist vision of a remorseless, machine-like superman. Furthermore, THE ENGLISH: ARE THEY HUMAN? (from the bestseller, dated 1931, by the Dutch academic G. J. Renie, in which the author undertook an analysis of the British nature) looks at the unlikely presence of conspicuous consumption and metrosexual vanity in the traditionally male working-class world of terrace culture.

Per-Oskar Leu is courtesy of 1/9 unosunove, Rome.

PER-OSKAR LEU lives and works in Oslo. He attended the National Academy of Fine Art (Oslo), Glasgow School of Art and the Städelschule (Frankfurt am Main) completing studies in 2009. Selected solo and group exhibitions include:

Pica Pica, Entree, Bergen (2011); LISTE performance (with Johan Berggren Gallery); Basel (2011); Vox Clamantis in Deserto, unosolo (1/9 unosunove project room), Rome, (2010); BFF, Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö (2010); Our TV Part 2, SWG3, Glasgow (2010); Ideal Setting, Ping Pong, Malmö (2010); On Guyton, Galerie Parisa Kind (Deuxiéme Bureau), Frankfurt am Main (2009); Frieze Projects, London (2009); Reality Effects, Henie Onstad Art Centre, Høvikodden (2008)

CURA. is a curatorial project that revolves around the production of a quarterly magazine (cura.magazine), a publishing house (cura.books) and a space (cura.space), through which it investigates the contemporary artistic production and promotes the most actual developments of the emerging practice, thanks to the collaboration with International artists and curators, the production of artists books, limited editions, exhibition projects and curatorial consulting.

A catalogue edited by cura.books featuring critical essays and photographic documentation of the five projects will be published in November 2012.

a project curated by cura. (ilaria marotta / andrea baccin)
critical text on the catalogue by filipa ramos 
uk coordinator susanna bianchini

NEXT PROJECTS
April 2012 – Jesse Ash (Monitor)
June 2012 – William Cobbing (Furini Arte Contemporanea)
October 2012 – Pennacchio Argentato (T293) 

PAST PROJECT 
October 2011– Andrea Sala – Tuti Fruti (Federica Schiavo Gallery)

Information concerning the project is available at:
www.commercialroadproject.com

elena bari – press@newrelease.it | press@curamagazine.com

Download: per-oskar-leu-poster.pdf




 
 
 
 
 
London Metropolitan University
*