John Keane Flat Earth : In the Studio
13 March - 2 May 2020

John Keane
Flat Earth : In the Studio

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“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”


Prior to the opening of the exhibition Flat Earth at our Kingsland Road gallery on March 13, we met with John Keane in his London studio as he shares a unique insight into this powerful new body of work.

If you would like further information on featured works, please contact Alexander Lovell

Exhibition runs from 13 March - 2 May 2020 at Flowers 82 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DP

 

Flat Earth 'The Earth is round. The Earth is flat. This Earth is round, but also flat - this is...
Flat Earth
 
"The Earth is round. The Earth is flat. This Earth is round, but also flat - this is a painting. Magritte was right. It wasn’t a pipe. It was a representation of a pipe, a flat pipe."
Blue Planet/ Moon Landing/ Flat Earth #8 'Blue Planet is the title of one of David Attenborough’s nature documentary series,...
Blue Planet/ Moon Landing/ Flat Earth #8
 
"Blue Planet is the title of one of David Attenborough’s nature documentary series, about the planet’s oceans. There are a number of different things going on in this painting. The blue in this case is the glow of screens, repeating the same random image ad infinitum. Communities are connected across space, electronically. On the street, on buses, in public, more people are looking at a small screen than at the people and events in their own immediate physical space. It seems that if it wasn’t filmed it didn’t happen. Is what we are looking at a glimpse  into an unseen world, such as that which Attenborough offered us? Are they rows of monitors, like mission control in Houston, 1969? Or is it a mirror of their own world view? Did the moon landing ever really happen, or was it  all an elaborate conspiracy? Is the ghostly blue light the flickering of gaslight, which makes us question our own sense of reason?"

As we prepare for the installation and opening of Flat Earth at our Kingsland Road gallery, we asked John to set the scene on these powerful new works - the ideas behind them, the scale and materiality, and the context and connections to his wider concerns.

Novichok 'The identities of the alleged poisoners of the Skripals and Dawn Sturgess in Salisbury in 2018, revealed by investigative...
Novichok
 
"The identities of the alleged poisoners of the Skripals and Dawn Sturgess in Salisbury in 2018, revealed by investigative journalists Bellingcat becomes an information war of fact and anti-fact, narrative and counter narrative. Negative and positive. A clash of empiricism and denial according to political preference and nationalist allegiance. Another metaphor for seeing only what conveniently fits a world view, ignoring that which is inconvenient. Some of this was filmed, the rest has to be filled in with forensic and detailed detective work. But who is watching the detectives? White Helmets, False Flags. The first casualty of war is the truth."
Black Board/Theory of Anything 'Politics as science, or selective history? Answering a question which wasn’t the one you were asked....
Black Board/Theory of Anything
 
"Politics as science, or selective history? Answering a question which wasn’t the one you were asked. Where are we now, and how did we get here? A flow chart, a diagram. Joining the dots. Cause and effect. Unintended consequences. Secret conspiracies...."
Despocracy 'Somewhere between democracy and despotism. The will of the people, or the tyranny of the majority. The democratisation of...
Despocracy
 
"Somewhere between democracy and despotism. The will of the people, or the tyranny of the majority. The democratisation of information, electronically concentrated in the hands of the super wealthy. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.  Where now, honesty, decency, integrity, shame? Algorithmic amplification of extreme messaging, employing the use of dog whistles. God is on our side. Their god is a bloodthirsty suicide bomber (but I didn’t say that)."

 

European Canon 'A Napoleonic cannon captured in the battle of Waterloo, now residing at the Tower of London, and Beethoven’s...
European Canon
 
"A Napoleonic cannon captured in the battle of Waterloo, now residing at the Tower of London, and Beethoven’s piano, a gift to him from English piano maker Thomas  Broadwood. Both objects carry an emotional charge, but each contrasts profoundly with the other. The cannon invokes a history of war in Europe and an insular spirit of British defiance. The piano belonged to the artist who left an unparalleled canon of  groundbreaking music, and penned Ode to Joy, from the ninth symphony, a  musical masterpiece calling for universal brotherhood, adopted by the European Union for its anthem. RIP."

 

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