Life Is More Important Than Art

Life Is More Important Than Art,Whitechapel Gallery

This exhibition explores the intersection of art and everyday life and the role of the contemporary art institution at a time of uncertainty and change.

The title takes inspiration from African-American writer and novelist James Baldwin, who proposed that life is more important than art … that is why art is important. At a time when the cost of living crisis is causing severe financial hardship and the after-effects of the pandemic are still being felt, we consider the role of art and the art institution in everyday life. What importance can we attach to art alongside more pressing concerns?

This free three-month programme of collaborations with artists, performers and thinkers examines the interface between art and everyday life and connections between local and global concerns at a time of uncertainty and change.

Visitors are invited to find meaning and create poetic, playful and reflective connections as they explore works by artists including Rana Begum (b. 1977, Bangladesh), William Cobbing (b. 1974, UK), Sarah Dobai, (b.1965, UK), Susan Hiller (b. 1940, USA – d. 2019, UK), Matthew Krishanu (b. 1980, UK), Jerome (b. 1991, UK), Janette Parris (b. 1962, UK), John Smith (b. 1952, UK), Alia Syed (b. 1964, UK), Mitra Tabrizian, Mark Wallinger (b. 1959, UK), and Osman Yousefzada (b. 1977, UK) spanning sculpture, photography, film and installation.

Duration 14 June 2023 - 17 September 2023
Times Tues-Sat 11am-6pm Thursday until 9pm
Cost Free
Venue Whitechapel Gallery
Address 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX
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