Dick Jewell questions cultural appropriation, soundtracked by Operate DMC

The multidisciplinary artist’s exhibition Faces functions digital artworks established in lockdown, with the intention of demanding our perceptions all over craft, costume, tradition, and identity

Dick Jewell has been doing the job at the cross-section of artwork, manner, and tunes across five decades. As effectively as operating his have history label and collaborating with the likes of Neneh Cherry and Massive Assault, the London-born multidisciplinary artist has been drawn to photomontage, images, e book publishing, and filmmaking due to the fact the 1970s. He has shot above 50 films – in the 90s, he captured the liberated and famous Kinky Gerlinky bash in London’s West Finish, attended by Vivienne Westwood, Leigh Bowery, and the era’s subversive icons. That movie grew to become obtainable to stream just past 12 months. His perform excavates well known culture and subcultures to issue our personalities and human behaviours. 

By way of a wide scope of work, there’s certain concepts and procedures he’s recurrently drawn to. “It’s all lens-primarily based and it is generally concept-led,” Jewell tells Dazed. “I imagine I’m commonly striving to motivate people today to imagine about how photographs affect our life, and consider and really encourage them to search additional carefully.” 

Jewell’s latest exhibition is Faces at east London’s Sion & Moore gallery. It capabilities two substantial-scale works he designed in the course of lockdown, which was a weird interval of time for Jewell, who had his movie venture Head2Head place on maintain. “Faces and ‘One Blood’ are two incredibly distinct pieces, nevertheless equally in a perception electronic collages influenced by pursuits inside of an on the web world,” he explains. With time to reflect, he delved much more into our standard dependence on know-how and social media, and its amplification in lockdown. “My views ended up in the direction of advertising harmony and unity among people, regardless of their situation or visual appeal.”

“One Blood” is a digital collage checking out tips of identity. This expansive perform aims to develop a perception of connectivity concerning men and women by juxtaposing illustrations or photos of people from throughout the globe dressed in their native garments and components, as perfectly as times of cultural appropriation. An Indigenous girl reads an problem of Vogue, with a jarring juxtaposition of a First Nations Halloween costume. There is a Maori Hells Angel, a Geisha, and a Zulu punk, and an Indigenous guy inspecting a notebook display screen.

“It‘s my endeavor at a dialogue about tribal id and cultural appropriation en masse,” he tells us. “While at the exact time bringing men and women with each other by doing away with point of view, manipulating everybody to an equivalent scale, even though perusing elements of nationality, faith, customs, and manner, and its links to costume and craft.” 

The exhibition’s focal perform explores shared humanity and cultural differences, and highlights Jewell’s suprising affinity with Run DMC. The brief film is a sequence of Jewell’s stills established to the band’s seminal observe “Faces”.

“It sets out to merge our connection with movie star, deal with-swapping, tribal and online culture, ageing and self-image, with politics and advertising, employing the humour of the zeitgeist we encounter each and every working day on social media platforms,” Jewell explains. “With this film, I’m seeking to change our perceptions by interrupting the processing of private preconceptions and prejudices of the faces we see, by using the rapidity of the photos encountered.” 

Even though giving an assessment of the a lot more hazardous penalties of what we face just about every working day on the world-wide-web, Jewell’s exhibition feels far more utopian than dystopian, as he continues to embrace the positive areas of new engineering and its prospective. He’s fascinated in NFTs and energized by the democratising influence of platforms these kinds of as YouTube, which he sees as offering a general public system for creatives to share their work with a world-wide viewers. “I see that as a know-how akin to road artwork,” he states. 

In the long run, he’s optimistic. “I’d like men and women to go away experience beneficial by acknowledging the magnificence and wealthy variety of all ethnicities and cultures that populate the planet and connect us as human beings of just about every age, color, size, shape, or form,” he states. Jewell’s also keen to be aware that he‘d enjoy to collab with Run DMC. “If any one out there looking through this could make that occur suitable now, that would be superb!” 

Dick Jewell’s Faces is at Sion & Moore right up until August 7 2021

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