"I think there are things that need to be changed about this world. And the first time I started becoming excited by art it was the art of propaganda: the idea of photography with a message, photography that was saying something. With this exhibition that’s what we’re really trying to ignite and bring to the forefront: art that speaks a message, art that is loud, art that is provocative." - Nick Knight
SHOWstudio's In Your Face served as a jolt to the senses, colliding agitprop pieces from the world of fashion, fine art and film. Curated by Carrie Scott, the title reveals the exhibition's duality, a reference to confrontation and also the immediately legible language of the portrait. Including works by artists, fashion designers and filmmakers who have engaged with the corporeal and the body as matter, the exhibition resonated in a wider politically universal sphere.
Fine artists, photographers and filmmakers involved in the exhibition included Marina Abramović, Franko B, Debra Baxter, Luis Bunuel, Nancy Burson, Chris Crites, Stephen Doherty, Marco Evaristti, Leo Gabin, Lucy & Bart, Gao Brothers, Shadifarin Ghadirian, Douglas Gordon, Fraser Hamilton, Ingrid Mwangi, Robert Hutter, Patrick Ian Hartley, Walter Hugo, Nick Knight, Little and Whitehead, Amir Mobed, Polly Morgan, Harold Offeh, Ed Templeton, Rudolf Schwartzkogler, Santiago Sierra, Tim Shaw, Anj Smith, and Hank Willis Thomas. Fashion designers included award-winning milliners Stephen Jones, Nasir Mazhar and up-and-coming London label Void Of Course.
The exhibition also celebrated a major relaunch of SHOWstudio.com, with a new visual identity and fresh approach to always-outstanding fashion film and editorial content, the work within In Your Face served as the physical anchor and foundation for our online programming which included specially-commissioned fashion films, interactive apps, and a series of live musical and fashion-based performance broadcasts, alongside a unique new interview series under the creative direction of Nick Knight.
Upfront, direct and sometimes brutal, In Your Face explored the contradictions, difficulties and traumatic engagements involved in our relationship to the world.
Alongside the exhibition the award wining interview series In Your Face was born. A twist on the coaxing, cajoling tradition of interviewing prevalent in art and fashion journalism, the series pits interviewer against interviewee in a collection of confrontational conversations. With subjects drawn from the worlds of art, fashion and celebrity this series pushes the boundaries of a typical interview into a one-on-one face off.
'It’s a good thing that people do question their values, without assuming their values are always correct. To push people to reconsider their opinions is good. But sometimes you have to do that in a direct and upfront way, in your face.' - Nick Knight