A gaggle of artists were led to Leeds on the trail of tales of shopping extravaganzas and rumours of retail’s trinity being ripped apart in the press. They shopped, read Plato, and lay laden with carriers and Chanel scented calling cards. Thinking about the chicken[shop] and the egg and the porosity of the viscous membrane, they set about planning a paradise of visual leisure pleasure.
‘SELL YOURSELF [SYS] was a group exhibition of new work by artists Jemma Egan, May Hands, Rebecca Molloy, Lindsey Mendick, Sarah Roberts, and Paloma Proudfoot. The January 2017 soft whispered hard sale that will cost you nothing and promise you everything. The artists worked collaboratively to construct a site specific moment of sculptural display in this former retail space in Leeds to explore the relationship between sculptural installation and the alluring yet perturbing nature of the world of retail and constructed leisure/pleasure spaces.
The artists involved take inspiration from the ever-changing and illusive atmosphere of shopping centres, window displays, spa’s and home showrooms. They are enticed by the hollow beauty and exotic eroticism of the transactional process, the material aesthetic, the tactile hyper-real realities of product, sales and succumbing.
An interest in the sensual accessibility of heightened aesthetic environments extends to bad foley, scent, lighting and aspects of visual display. Objects will take the form of protagonists, sculptural commodities, material matter or material possessions, lending themselves to dynamic and stylised modes of display, creating a slippery space for looking.