David Dale Gallery, in partnership with Video Art Network Lagos, are delighted to present Watch Yourself, a multi-channel video installation of work by UK based artists Rachel Maclean, Jack Saunders, Dominic Watson & Zoe Williams. Presented as part of the British Council’s UK/ Nigeria 2015-16 season,Watch Yourself is the second in a series of collaborations between David Dale Gallery and Video Art Network Lagos.
The organisations first collaborated when David Dale Gallery invited Video Art Network Lagos, alongside five other international organisations, to participate in International Artist Initiated, a project devised as part of Festival 2014, the cultural programme of the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Working with artist initiated, or focussed, organisations from across the six Commonwealth territories, the programme consisted of a series of exhibitions and events by the invited organisations that responded to either the context of the Commonwealth Games within Glasgow, or was representative or indicative of contemporary culture within their nation through the lens of an artist-led organisation. Taking place over multiple venues in Glasgow’s east end, International Artist Initiatedincorporated visual art exhibitions, public art, events, performance and publications as a celebration of the diversity of self-organised cultural practice internationally.
Video Art Network Lagos’ contribution was titled Owambe, a colloquial expression for a party where the who-is-who in the Nigerian society are in attendance. Watch Yourself is developed as a sequel to the project’s initial iteration in Glasgow, and is presented in similar terms as a glimpse of contemporary culture within UK and artists’ representations of this. The exhibition brings together artists working within culture directed by the online totality of media. Characterised by the hyper – personal, subjective, seductive or aesthetic – the artists work within forms now defined by the multiplicity of online video production, and the half truths jostling for attention that the commodification of moving image has necessitated. Merging humour, vanity and seduction, an undercurrent of dark anxiety permeates all the works, questioning the depth of a surface orientated culture.