Autonomy by definition is the right to self govern or freedom from external control. Autonomy finds its roots in the Greek autonomia ‘independent, living by one’s own laws’.This was shown perfectly in an amalgamation of arts during a magnificent evening to mark the open the new Londonewcastle project space – Gallery 46 at Whitechapel.
Gallery 46 is housed in a pair of newly renovated Georgian houses in the grounds of Whitechapel Hospital, and is set over 3 floors and 8 rooms giving a sense of intrigue as you climb higher to discover the depths of the building and the art within. The exhibition ranges from pictures, to installations and videos, each showcasing autonomy in their own way.
Each piece of art evokes a strong feeling of freedom from external influences and controls. On the mid floor landing a female body lies suspended in the air over a carpet in the middle of the walkway, giving the message of her right to self govern and sleep where and how she desires. The top floor is home to 2 rooms showing videos, one of a woman slowly folding a huge length of paper along the streets of London. The other shows a man dressed in a swan-like costume, frolicking on the beach surrounded by astounded locals who eventually begin to join in. These both show autonomy in the way the performers have no regard for what onlookers think of their strange actions. Every piece in the Autonomy show invites you to live by your own laws, in a world full of claustrophobic rules and stereotypes.
The show is well worth a visit, not only for the art but for its quirky location and set up. A perfect way to spend a summer's evening.
Autonomy will be running from 8th September – 9th October at 46 Ashfield Street, Whitechapel
Monday – CLOSED
Tuesday to Friday 12pm – 7pm
Evenings available by appointment
Saturday 12pm – 6pm
Sunday by appointment only