From today, Selfridges’ Oxford Street flagship plays host to a new and unexpected artistic intervention.
In collaboration with Selfridge’s nationwide State of the Arts campaign (which also includes events and exhibitions in Birmingham, Manchester and online), SKIP founders Lee Baker and Catherine Borowski have selected three artists-on-the-rise to participate in the provocative month-long programme.
Maja Djordjevic, Paul Kindersley and Claire Pearce are the latest in a growing line of artist collaborators invited to create site-specific artworks for Baker & Borowski’s mobile exhibition programme, centring on a converted skip.
Chosen for their playful wit, uncompromising approach and convention-puncturing work, the three follow in the footsteps of David Shrigley, Gavin Turk, Richard Woods and Ben Eine, all of whom have taken on the challenge of creating work for Britain’s most unusual exhibition space.
"The artists we’ve chosen are like a mash-up of London: an extravaganza of cool, cutting edge, visually sumptuous people who are creating the city’s off-Mayfair cultural scene," says Catherine Borowski, co-founder of SKIP Gallery.
By breaking art out of its expected gallery context and planting it in unexpected environments, Baker & Borowski encourages – perhaps even coerce – the public to confront each artwork head on and consider how its meaning might be influenced by its setting in a receptacle for rubbish. Now it’s the turn of the shoppers of Selfridges. As they pass through the heart of the store and encounter the modified skip, visitors will be invited to consider topics ranging from the playful to the provocative.
Over the course of the month, the three artists of Like It or Lump It will use sculpture, theatre and digital technology to explore subjects ranging from identity, body politics and gender to authenticity and cultural history.
While Djordjevic and Kindersley will reveal work in the skip itself, Claire Pearce has been charged with fulfilling Baker & Borowski’s first Fitting Room Residency, which will see one of the store’s changing rooms transform into a playful digital installation for the age of the selfie.
Kicking things off today, until 17 March, is Nothing To Wear Again! by Maja Djordjevic, a Serbian-born multidisciplinary artist who has built an international reputation for the tragicomic adventures of her ‘pixel’ nude girl, portrayed in sculpture and oil paintings in the style of MS Paint.
For her UK debut, Djordjevic has created ‘Nothing To Wear Again!' – a playfully pink cartoonish skip sculpture with a computer-doodle aesthetic. Through a skip full of strawberry ice cream topped with a giant cherry and two nudes, she uses an ostensibly spirited scenario to explore themes of feminine power and the female gaze.
Running from now until 31 March 2019, State of the Arts is a nationwide campaign dedicated to presenting art in unexpected places and making it accessible to all.
Harnessing dozens of contributing artists, galleries and art collaborators, Selfridges has organised a programme of events and exhibitions across its London, Birmingham and Manchester stores and online at selfridges.com – including dedicated art window displays, an in-store art trail, and a six-episode podcast series. To see what else is happening, visit www.selfridges.com/stateofthearts.