Home: Live > In Room: Youth Forum selects from the Hiscox Collection
25 August 2020 – 3 January 2021
Galleries 5 & 6, Free entry

Considering the ways in which lockdown has affected experiences of art and culture, Whitechapel Gallery’s Youth Forum, Duchamp & Sons, presents a virtually-curated display featuring artworks drawn from the Hiscox Collection.

This collective of young people, aged 15-23, communicated digitally from their homes to select 15 two-dimensional works that respond to the theme of home. As many were forced to reimagine their bedrooms and kitchens as creative spaces during the global pandemic, the group considers the growing significance of networked curating, which sees exhibitions envisioned, discussed and installed through their laptop screens.

Working online over a two-month period, Duchamp & Sons gained training in the curatorial process through a series of workshops and talks with Whitechapel Gallery staff and other leading creative professionals. Through writing sessions, they deconstructed the notion of home and its significance to them.

Duchamp & Sons’ selected artworks in Home: Live > In Room either transport visitors to faraway destinations or compel them to look closer to home. Skyscapes and islands predominate in works such as Trevor Paglen’s (b. 1974, USA) CLOUDS (2018), revealing the pixel formulas required to image the sky. Lisa Oppenheim’s (b. 1975, USA) sublime calendar of clouds reflecting on the passage of time and Peter Doig’s (b. 1959, UK) Canoe Island featuring solitary unknown rider on a dark sea silhouetted against a vibrant pink and yellow landscape. The cinematic photograph of Gregory Crewdson (b. 1962, USA) then bring viewers back home with his twilight views of a small town and Richard Billingham’s (b. 1970, UK) startlingly candid portraits of his family reveal an intimate peek into domestic spaces.

Further artists featured in the exhibition include Edward Burtynsky (b. 1955, Canada), Barbara Kasten (b. 1936, USA), Agnieszka Kurant (b. 1978, Poland), Langlands and Bell (b. 1955 and 1959, UK) and Cornelia Parker (b. 1956, UK). Accompanying these works is a series of audio readings playing throughout the display, where the voice of each young curator is heard sharing their thoughts about the selection.  Their writings on the artworks are also available online to download on the exhibition page and the collective’s Blog.

Initiated in 2009, the Whitechapel Gallery’s youth forum is a collaborative programme which provides a platform to share, discuss and experiment with new ideas. It aims to give young people practical experience, skills and behind-the-scenes insight into the Gallery, while working alongside artists and creative practitioners.

Home: Live > In Room runs concurrently with Accelerate your escape, a multimedia display which similarly features works from the Hiscox Collection, curated by British artist Gary Hume (b. 1962, UK). Situated in a neighbouring gallery space, Hume’s display is the first in a series of two consecutive, artist-curated exhibitions drawn from the Hiscox Collection, taking place at Whitechapel Gallery from August 2020. The series forms part of the Gallery’s ongoing commitment to showing rarely seen public and private collections.

Global specialist insurer Hiscox have been collecting modern and contemporary art for over 50 years. The collection comprises 1000 works by renowned artists, including Grayson Perry, Tacita Dean and Peter Doig. With no single work ever in storage, this living collection is displayed across the company’s 35 global offices – on the walls of common areas and meeting rooms, enlivening the working environment with art that provokes thought or sparks creativity.


Notes to Editors

  • The exhibition is curated by Whitechapel Gallery’s Youth Forum, Duchamp & Sons, with Renee Odjidja, Curator: Youth Programmes and Sofia Victorino, Daskalopolous Head of Education and Public Programmes.
  • The exhibition is accompanied by poetic writings about each artwork and the home, available to download via the Duchamp & Sons blog or the exhibition page.
  • The Duchamp & Sons audio soundtrack which features their readings is available online.
  • This exhibition forms part of Whitechapel Gallery’s 2020 Creative Careers Programme which offers young people unique short and long term opportunities to encounter Whitechapel Gallery staff and leading professionals, gain new skills, practical experience and behind-the-scenes insight into working in the creative sector. Through workshops, talks and placements, the programme enables participants to broaden their understanding of the range of careers in the industry, the routes in and skills needed to pursue them.
  • Generously supported by Capital Group, Dorota and Olivier Audemars, Swarovski Foundation, The Arts Society Westminster and The Worshipful Company of Grocers.
  • Programmed by our Education team since 2009, Galleries 5 & 6 at Whitechapel Gallery are dedicated to showing new exhibitions that provide opportunities for local young people to collaborate with artists.

About Duchamp & Sons

Duchamp & Sons is Whitechapel Gallery’s Youth Collective. A group of young people aged 15-23 from across London who meet regularly to explore art, curate exhibitions, film, music and performance events at Whitechapel Gallery. The choice of name combines a reference to the artist Marcel Duchamp and to a shop on Whitechapel High Street, Albert & Son.

Ten Duchamp & Sons members participated in this curatorial project: Aasiya Merali, Akraam Ahammed, Ellen Lloyd, Iñaki Iriarte, Joshua von Uexkull, Maya Brown, Sammara Abbasi, Sara Ismail, Sonam Tobgyal, Zlata Mechetina.

About Whitechapel Gallery

For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world-class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Frida Kahlo and Hannah Höch to contemporaries such as Zarina Bhimji, Sophie Calle, William Kentridge, Eduardo Paolozzi and Michael Rakowitz. Its historic campus houses exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historic archives, education resources, inspiring art courses, talks and film screenings, the Townsend dining room and the Koenig Bookshop. It is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.

About Hiscox Collection

The Hiscox Collection was established in 1970 when Robert Hiscox took over the company from his father.  Its focus was on Modern British art, with an interest in the work of the Russian Constructivists.  As the company grew and opened offices around the globe, the Collection’s focus became more international in scope with an emphasis on supporting young emerging artists.  The Collection now comprises approximately 1,000 works on display across the company’s 35 offices in the UK, US, and Europe, with prominent works by Sol LeWitt, Cecily Brown, Lynette Yiadom- Boakye, Nan Goldin, Thomas Struth and Tacita Dean.

Hiscox are not only major insurers of art, but collectors and enablers of it. We acquire works by living artists, we sponsor works and exhibitions and we firmly believe that the works of art in our offices create an inspiring environment.

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