Curated by Sotiris Kyriacou
29 September – 30 October 2015
The Cass at London Metropolitan University presents Flyposting, a survey of works by British Cypriot artist Mustafa Hulusi. This is the first time a selection of his flyposting works, a crucial part of his oeuvre, have been brought together in a gallery setting.
Flyposting has been a consistent and integral part of Hulusi’s practice since 1998. Well known for his viral flyposting campaigns, Hulusi’s work moves within the physical realm of advertising to display his art, making use of customised visuals and geometric patterns as well as large scale images of flowers and fruit.
The exhibition, hosted at The Cass Bank Gallery, offers the audience an opportunity to experience a range of these works outside their original context. Chance encounters on the street are replaced by a purposeful gaze within the gallery setting. The confinements of the gallery walls do not attempt to claim an ‘elevated’ status for the work; his images stay true to their conceived state, being flyposted across the gallery walls.
The crude pasting of the posters leaves smeared traces after application, ensuring that the mode of display is very much apparent, acting as a foil to the aesthetic qualities of the images. The rough physicality of flyposting emphasises its analogue qualities, whilst its vulnerable, perishable status asserts its ephemeral, transitory nature.
The works reference aspects of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, ranging from historical art and kitsch iconography to graphic design styles. This tactic of visual appropriation seeks to remind the audience of their role within a collective social memory. Images and references become dislocated from their status or hierarchy and are presented as democratic and open.
All images in the show were originally realised as posters or billboards, fly-posted illicitly around London. Abstract motifs are sometimes coupled with representational images and the resulting works manage to be both knowing in their references and enticing in their stylistic range.
Pomegranates No.1 (2014) takes a symbol of fertility and abundance and represents it in a startlingly beautiful yet realistic, unadorned way, instilling it with the resonance of a vanitas painting. A version of this work is also presented in a newspaper format with copies available to be taken by the audience, creating another form of dissemination.
Expander (2006), newBuild (1999) and Checkered (1998) plunder and customise available typeface fonts and abstract designs. Surface Poster (Cypriot Olive Tree) (2011) highlights Hulusi’s referencing of his Turkish Cypriot heritage. Depicting close-ups of the aged bark of an olive tree across several panels, the work is reminiscent of a traditional frieze, rendering it both modern and timeless.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Jack Arts will be partnering with Mustafa Hulusi and London Metropolitan University to launch the inaugural Jack Arts Outdoor Poster Competition, open to all fine art students at the university. Students will get the opportunity to present their work to an esteemed panel of judges for the chance to see their work exhibited across London on a number of Jack Arts poster sites later this year.
The entries will be judged by artists Mustafa Hulusi and Patrick Brill, aka Bob and Roberta Smith (MA Course Leader for Fine Art, London Metropolitan University) as well as Tim Horrox (Managing Director, Jack Arts). The winner will see their work exhibited across a number of Jack Arts outdoor poster sites later this year.
The exhibition is sponsored by Jack Arts and supported by London Metropolitan University.
The Cass Bank Gallery
59-63 Whitechapel High Street
London, E1 7PF
Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6pm
On Thursday 22nd October at 5.30pm, Adrian Burnham (Art and Design lecturer) will present a talk exploring the legacy and continuing pertinence of flyposting. The talk will take place in Room 116, Central House, London Metropolitan University, entrance adjacent to gallery. Admission is free.
For further information, images and interviews
0207 133 2465
Poppy Melzack: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
Mustafa Hulusi lives and works in London. His recent solo exhibitions include Propagating Ambient, The Page Gallery, Seoul; The Golden Age, Max Wigram Gallery, London, (2014). In 2007 Hulusi represented Cyprus (with Haris Epaminonda) at the Venice Biennale. His work is featured in a number of collections, including Tate; The Zabludowicz Collection; UBS; British Council; Saatchi Collection.
Jack Arts is a creative out-of-home agency based in London, with more than twenty years experience conceiving and activating conventional and unconventional advertising for thearts sector. The company is proud of its sensitivity to and understanding of the importance ofstreet space as an area in which visual exchange takes place and where shared social possibilities can occur. Jack Arts has been supporting Hulusi’s output since 1998.
The Cass is the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. It is one of four faculties within the University. The Cass teaches about 2500 students at Foundation, Degree and Postgraduate level at two buildings in Aldgate. Subjects include Animation, Architecture, Film Production, Fine Art, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Illustration, Interior Design, Jewellery, Music Technology, Musical Instrument Making, Photography, Product Design and Textiles. The Faculty also offers 200 short and professional development courses. There is a strong emphasis across the studios on socially engaged Architecture, Art and Design applied to both local and global contexts, a Faculty-wide interest in making and many projects focus on aspects of London. Students at The Cass are encouraged to learn through practice, experiment with process and gain real-world experience in both individual and collaborative projects, engaging with professionals, communities and companies.