Part of Venice Agendas 2019 The Market: What is the Value of Art?

20th - 22 December 2019
Opening event, publication launch & performance: 20 December 2019, 6-9pm
Exhibition opening times: 11am - 5pm
HOP Projects CT20, 73 Tontine Street, Folkestone CT20 1JR

‘Contra-Culture’ is an event and exhibition that questions the market and cultural framework that characterises Folkestone’s creative landscape.

The installation will present a new journal, This Week in Folkestone (TWF) and performance by John Paul Grande – a professional hairstylist trained by Vidal Sassoon and local skater. John’s unique story presents an extraordinary insight into an innovative hyper-local social model developed out of a diaspora’s cultural hybrid deeply enrooted in the county’s margins.

‘Contra-Culture’ opens up a debate on class, community, longing, and gender within the context of sub-cultures. It explores the value of traditions and resistance underlying Folkestone’s vernacular heritage, and hijacks the status-quo of cultural validation in Folkestone’s art scene: by placing alongside it a more diverse language of cultural production in the public sphere: one that holds the application of human imagination, care and emotional in its rawest form. It will also explore the flourishing of sub-cultures that consider perceived vandalism and trespassing as reclamation and protest.

VENICE AGENDAS 2019 THE MARKET: What is the Value of Art? examines the financial mechanism that powers the art world. How do people in the arts make a living? How does the art market impact on the territory and environment that artists, institutions, curators and writers have to navigate to create, present and discuss original contemporary artwork? Who are the beneficiaries and who are the losers?

Venice Agendas have commissioned twenty-five artists and writers and six groups and collectives to respond to some of these questions. A publication, discussions and further events are planned between now and the end of December 2019.

The project began in May during the press days of the Venice Biennale, and continues in the UK with a series of discussions, events and artist commissions until December 2019. We are delighted to work alongside other contributors Islington Mill Art Academy, Salford. LUVA, Bethnal Green, London. Invigilators Research Network, London, Artemotion, Bristol, and MAD FOR REAL, International.