What a Joke!20th May 2022 - 11th June 2022
Location: AIR Gallery, Altrincham
OPENING NIGHT: Thursday 19th May
Exhibition Continues: 20th May-11th June
They say that laughter is the best medicine and given the recent pandemic, we definitely seem in need of some. What a Joke! Brings together the work of 25 artists who've injected their work with healthy dose of humour, wit and irony.
Humour in contemporary art has become ever more prevalent in recent years; with artists breaking down the barriers between formality and familiarity. Art has always taken itself too seriously and it wasn't until 1917 with the infamous piece Fountain by Marcel Duchamp that the art world actually stopped to consider the joke. Love it, hate it or just don't get it- this piece has all the traits of how we ourselves respond to jokes and humour; not everyone will understand, some will laugh and others will not.
This major breakthrough in art history has had a lasting impact on the way viewers perceive art and the way artists now work in the modern day. It is from this initial setup that many of the artists in this show now can bring the punchline- making light of many iconic art tropes of the past. Using humour as a device, this exhibition is full of visual puns, sarcasm, and the absurd to prove that humour like art is subjective. Art galleries are no longer a solemn and humourless environment; the audience are both the recipient and butt of the joke; and ultimately art can have the last laugh.
"It's true, of course, humour is very important in my life, as you know. That's the only reason for living, in fact." - Marcel Duchamp