Next to Nothing: An Exhibition on the Price of Nothing and Value of Everything by Black Dogs
The Light (Top Floor), Leeds City Centre. 15th Sept – 1st October, 2011.

DIY art collective Black Dogs returns once more to the group show format with an exhibition containing contributions from over thirty individuals and collectives. Advancing Black Dogs’ critique of the institutional artworld, the contributors occupy various positions in relation to the label ‘artist’; raising questions about when something is art, who can make it and what the worth of calling it art is anyway.

The exhibition results from a series of collective meetings and conversations around notions of value. What is the radical potential of thrift and an economical approach? When and why is something cheap? What does it mean to be not-for-profit or operate in a non-capitalist fashion? How do we value our time and how does this find expression through the things we do or make? When are we working and when do we play?

The backdrop to these discussions has included state-enforced austerity measures, global financial crises and Marx reading groups appearing across the country alongside instances of rioting and looting. Whilst the exhibition avoids directly addressing or representing such issues, they undoubtedly provide context and resonance for the various works. Projects include: sculpture made from scrap, unmasked secrets of visual merchandising, advice on how to be a good shopper, a freely assembled Arcade Machine, traces of ‘everyday resistance’ at work, a homemade Mellotron, unrealised tattoos, reflections on sustaining an art practice when unpaid, and much more in the way of hand printing, diagrams, photography, objects, video and performance.

Next to Nothing takes place in an impressive empty unit in The Light shopping centre in the commercial heart of Leeds, a space and site that is as integral to the exhibition as the works displayed within it. Alongside the exhibition are a programme of events including evenings of music, performance and films held on and offsite. In addition, Black Dogs have used meetings as an opportunity to produce a collaborative fanzine that will be available for free to take away from the exhibition. Both the publication and the exhibition are not intended as end points or conclusions but rather markers of a moment in a collective interrogation of how we value our own and other’s activity and the cost of living.

Next To Nothing opens on Thursday 15th September at 5pm. All are welcome and refreshments will be available. There is a post-opening party and gig featuring Picore from Spain amongst other acts from the DIY (not-for-profit) music community held at Wharf Chambers club for members and their guests.

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Contributors include:
Adam J Maynard, Alice Bradshaw, Amelia Crouch, Andy Abbott, Bristow & Lloyd, Bryony Pritchard,
Charlotte A Morgan, Claire Adams, Conway & Young, Craig Barnes, Dan Robinson, Dave Ronalds, David Thomas, Eva Rowson, Grace Harrison, Harriet Bevan, James Hill, Jonny Hill, Jon Slight, Kathy Gray, Liz Murphy, Luke Drozd, Michael Burkitt, Mick Welbourn, Nicolas Jones, No Fixed Abode, Patrick Coyle, Philip Welding, Rory Macbeth, Rose Borthwick, Rowan Bailey, Sarah Bradley, Sarah Bowker-Jones, Shakeeb Abu Hamdan, Sheila Mone, Simon Wright, Steven Albutt, Tom Railton, Yvonne Carmichael and more


































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