Private View: Tuesday 12 June, 6 – 9pm
Talks and discussion: Saturday 23 June
All this long human story, most passionate and tragic in the living, was but an unimportant, a seemingly barren and negligible effort, lasting only for a few moments in the life of the galaxy.
- Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker, 1937
Drawing on the title of Olaf Stapledon’s breath-taking account of the evolutionary rise and fall of eighteen distinct races of men, Last and First Men. Towards a New Anthropology explores the interplay of anthropological concerns and contemporary art practice. The exhibition surveys the relationships between documentary and ethnographic study via a body of artists who look to myth, memory traces and the significance of ancestry in relation to the social and cultural organisation of human societies, as well as addressing humanity’s shifting and uncertain relationships with technology and the natural world.
Anthropology holds a central place within the histories of both modernism and postmodernism. From the importance of non-western cultures to the Surrealists in the early 1930s, to the role of science and medicine in Jeffrey Deitch’s Post Human (1992). Last and First Men. Towards a New Anthropology suggests its renewed importance in contemporary art practice, presenting a diverse group of dynamic emerging and mid-career artists whose work engages with a complex dialogue of ritual, cosmology, ecology and technology.
Artists include: Vincent Chevillon, Jan Crombie, Adam Dix, Adam Jeppeson, Namsa Leuba, Charlotte McDonald, David Price and Jane Wafer.
Dedicated to promoting and supporting emerging and mid-career artists, Armsden operates through a dynamic programme of off-site exhibitions and collaborative projects. Providing a platform by which to explore current discourses common across contemporary visual culture, we endeavour to supplement the commercial exhibition programme wherever possible with a series of engaged and informative events.