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Proceed with Playfulness: Reclaim the Mundane's Office Party

In this Theatre X Art collaboration, writers Ariunzaya Batkhuyag and Georgia Gibson share two perspectives, of art and performativity respectively, on Reclaim the Mundane's recent exhibition. Ariunzaya's article is below.

Central Saint Martins’ Fine Arts students’ exhibition, Reclaim the Mundane: Office Party, took place on the ground floor (and continued to the basement) of an office building at Angel Court. Presenting their artworks in a jungle of glassy office buildings, where coffee shops close at four in the afternoon, they aim to take back the mundanity from the corporate and the commercial. They do so by re-conceptualising and re-contextualising the mundane objects such as rubbish bags, IKEA manuals, and even the term “nuclear family”.

'Nuclear Family' by Esme Godkin. Photo by Georgia Gibson.

The exhibition begins with a re-imagined living room, which mainly consists of a big cosy sofa chair and a shelf full of trinkets. At first glance, this somewhat disorganised living room might seem ordinary. But once the visitor reads the labels, the comical charm of the whole presentation reveals itself. A label of two baby figurines read as such:


Date: 1969 March 8th

Medium: Floss…

Dimensions: dimensionless

Belongs to the collection of: Cunt, Pussy, Gingervitus”.

This seemingly ordinary living room sets the tone of the exhibition as the visitors are asked to engage with the artworks as playfully as possible.

'I HAVE GUM DISEASE' and 'A Moral Dilemma' on display. Photo by Ariunzaya Batkhuyag.

As you go along, you might mistake every little object as part of the exhibition (as we did!). Even the frozen TV screen looked like it was intentional. This mockery on the artists’ side and foolish reading from us might be an indication that they achieved what they strived to convey. Drawing upon the “Arte Povera” movement, the collective attacks the snobbery of the commercialised contemporary art world by reminding us that art can be made with any materials the artist chooses. For example, the installation Babes…You Look Rubbish! (2023) by Laura Bowels is made out of rubbish from corporate bins around the area.

'BABES... YOU LOOK RUBBISH!' by Laura Bowels. Photo by Ariunzaya Batkhuyag

Reclaim the Mundane's exhibition highlights the playfulness of art-making and the irony of viewing/reading contemporary artwork: nothing is serious, but every little thing is worthy of our attention.

Reclaim the Mundane's work can be found at @ReclaimtheMundane on instagram.

Edited by Georgia Gibson.


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