The Aftermath Dislocation Principle (ADP) the latest work from artist Jimmy Cauty, housed in a 40 ft shipping container is a monumental post-riot landscape in miniature – arriving in Oxford between the 25th and 27th November, before it continues its country-wide tour of ‘riot sites’ until Christmas Day. This dystopian model village is set somewhere in Bedfordshire, where only the police and media teams remain in an otherwise deserted, wrecked and dislocated land – all in 1:87 scale and viewed through viewing ports on the side of the container.
The origins of this piece lie in a series of works known as ‘A Riot in a Jam Jar’. Here Cauty constructed tiny scenes of a riotous nature inside upturned jam jars in which violence, humour and socio-political commentary vied for position in contained and domesticated bite-size portions. Likewise, The ADP in a Shipping Container plays out its viewing requirements according to the nature of its construction – not this time for mantelpieces, display cases and gallery plinths but as a totally self-contained off-grid artwork that can go anywhere, to be where it is needed, to seek its audience. The ADP tour explicitly draws on the iconography of the travelling show, the spectacular attraction or the hit and run event, and plays that off against the transient violence and upheaval of civil disorder followed by its aftermath … always moving on, powering across the country on a 30-tonne haulage truck, in parody of the alleged contagion and momentum of ‘riotousness’ itself.
The concept of the tour evolved during the development of the work. When it became apparent that the model was best viewed through peepholes and would fit neatly inside a 40 ft shipping container, it became obvious that the work should travel … but to where? Although not explicit, its relationship to ‘A Riot in a Jam Jar’ suggests that the ADP’s ruined landscape is the result of some kind of mass riot.
As such, the creative ‘logic’ for the tour demands that the ADP should go on a pilgrimage to riot sites around the country: to places where significant civil unrest had occurred; places of real ‘Aftermath’ be it from recent events or more historic ones significant in the development of our socio-political and cultural landscape. In no way is the intention to explain the ADP or to romanticise the role of social disorder, but instead to tap into that stream of consciousness, whether radical or reactionary, pitting historical narratives against Cauty’s more chaotic, (and ironically) less contained creation.
At each stage of the tour these frameworks have been broadened, through issuing leaflets that discuss each location’s ‘riot’ written by a local resident, with exhibiting partners around the country (arts institutions or charities, smaller groups, or committed individuals) have been encouraged to develop their own events and programmes around the ADP to engage their local communities in a way they see fit. As the container travels the country it is also collecting graffiti from each site, constantly transforming it as an ongoing form of folk art generating its own narrative outside of the artist’s control.
From previous engagements with the ADP (before it was containe(re)d), the broad appeal of this artwork and its compelling allure is understood. Its construction from traditional (if somewhat subverted) model-making kits gives the work an instantly understandable, recognisable, and almost filmic quality, where the glee of its deconstructive confusion can be played out in a direct manner. It is easy to understand, yet complicated. From small children to the art literati, viewing times are drawn out occasions as the finer details of this intricate work are discovered, often accompanied by chuckles of laughter. It is also not uncommon for multiple visits to take place, and through these engagements, the work is explored and becomes alive. So, as the ADP makes its way to Oxford, and then on to future riot locations, the artist hopes to generate a continual feedback loop of stories and meanings as greater numbers of people are exposed to the project, developing new audiences and establishing the ADP as a major, innovative, and ongoing artwork.
Lead image: Jimmy Cauty, ADP Motorway Flyover, credits Mediamatic, photograph: Irati Gorostidi, 2016
￼Jimmy Cauty – The Aftermath Dislocation Principle (ADP) – St. Scholastic Day Riot of 1355, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG – 25th – 27th November – tour until 25th December 2016
ADP Tour Route:
OXFORD 25th – 27th November St Scholatica Day Riots; CROYDON 28th November – 5th December 2011 UK Riots; COLCHESTER 5th – 12th December May 1968 Dr Inch Lecture Riot; BEDFORD 13th – 23th December 2012 Football Riot, 2016 Christmas Day Armageddon; THE END