Contemporary Art Week is an annual programme, which offers young people space to connect with the practice of a contemporary artist, experiment with different ways of artmaking, and collaborate with peers to develop creative work.
The 2023 edition took Angel Alley – a passageway neighbouring Whitechapel Gallery – as its inspiration, with artist and grassroots organiser Liv Wynter leading the week alongside guest artists from their sell-out live art night How to Catch a Pig.
Drawing upon the rich activist and anarchist histories of the space, as well as the 2022 artistic collaboration between RESOLVE collective and the Angel Allies initiated by Whitechapel Gallery which has resulted in the installation of two murals within the alleyway and essential services including improved lighting and a water tap, the week explored the intersection between art, politics and community.
Throughout the week, participants spent time building a collective artist manifesto, delving into the histories of activist art and DIY publishing, designing and creating banners, and experimenting with DJing and live performance skills. They organised themselves into a new artistic collective for the week demanding positive change – ASH: Anarchy Starts Here.
The week culminated in a live performance sharing the work they had developed together which began in the foyer of Whitechapel Gallery before processing into Angel Alley for a series of readings outside of Freedom Bookshop.