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Revenge of Romance
22 September - 16 October, 2004
Thurs - Sun 12-6pm

private view Wed 22 Sept 6.30-11.30pm
free film screening Fri 1 October 6.30-11.30pm

AES+F Group, assume vivid astro focus, Yason Banal, BUTT magazine,
Varda Caivano, Mikko Canini, Jo Coupe, Lorin Davies, Oriana Fox,
Jasper Garvida, Babak Ghazi, Haruhi Hayashi, Min Hye Kim, Aran Mann,
Zoe Mendelson, Sandra Palomar,Gail Pickering, Jimmy Robert, Atsuko Sasaki
JJ Stevens, Ugat Lahi Collective, Markus Vater, Willem Weismann, Terry Young

with performances and live sets from Kashpoint (feat. Matthew Glammore & Bishi), Stik (Dirty Kabaret) and Club Motherf**ker (feat. Daughters of Kaos)

Curated by Sonja Laban



"Back from the dead narratives, hot conceptualisms, frottage politics and nocturnal figurines romanticism has been widely perceived as sentimental, old fashioned, and conservative. A has been. Brushing off the neo nor the post, the show will show the ecliptic but ever present schism that is romance and conflict: melancholia, terror, decoration, belief (of love, politics, frivolity, crime, god). Romance never went away, it only moved on because reality was too slow. It fades in and out without much fuss... But now it's hungry. And needs to feast on new blood. Its comeback stars a lover's fatalistic theory and an assassin's enigmatic weaponry. Revenge of Romance sets up the new battleground.." -Sonja Laban




clockwise from top left: Jo Coupe, Jimmy Robert, Gail Pickering, AES+F Group, JJ Stevens


    An exhibition that challenges the orthodoxies of the so-called aesthetic versus the political, Revenge of Romance features over 20 artists, with London-based as well as invited international artists.  Drawing as much from the ideologically inflected practices of the 70s as from folkloric fantasy, club culture, and personal hagiography, the works are bold and brazen and yet demonstrate at times a certain melancholic and gothic sensibility - perhaps a comment to the artists personal outlook but in many cases a look to where we might have arrived in the aftermath of the more overtly confrontational, politicised practices of the past.

A re-investigation of past practices and ideologies, of identity and the politics of self-representation, the exhibition is yet resolutely now.  The breadth of the works is such as hasn't recently been seen in London, audaciously placing Filipino protest art alongside paintings by recent RCA graduates, cult queer mags next to towering felt castles and magick videos.  Curator Sonja Laban has created an exhibition that is not only an opportunity to see new work by up-and-coming artists as well as work largely unseen in the UK, but also invokes a discourse incredibly pertinent though relatively undiscussed for contemporary [London] art production.



Revenge of Romance would like to thank Max Wigram and Sadie Coles for their support