disCONNECT – A ‘locked-down’ artist takeover

Herakut, installation view of disCONNECT, Schoeni Projects London (2024), Nick Smith Photos

Herakut, installation view of disCONNECT, Schoeni Projects London (2024), Photos:Nick Smith

This was meant to be one great art party where urban artists would have been invited to take over the walls of a London townhouse prior to renovation. Then COVID-19 hit and disCONNECT turned into something even more exciting.

While the London based artists were able to install their works in situ – David Bray moved into one of the bedrooms which has become one of the most poignant responses to experiencing isolation – most of the international contributions had to be coordinated remotely.

David Bray, install view of disCONNECT, Schoeni Projects London (2020), photo Nick Smith

David Bray, install view of disCONNECT, Schoeni Projects London (2020), photo Nick Smith

Portuguese street artist Vhils and Berlin-based duo HERAKUT inhabit adjoining rooms. The former created a sombre atmosphere in the former library around a unique stand-alone made from layers of discarded advertising posters, with bas-relief carving to the doors which had to be shipped between London and Lisbon. By contrast, HERAKUT’s cardboard installation in the playroom next door is loud and fun until you look into the cardboard figure’s lonely faces. The cutouts were produced in the artists’ Berlin studio with the murals supervised by webcam – I would have loved to be that kid allowed to paint on the walls!

Vhils, installation view of disCONNECT, Schoeni Projects London (2020), ©Ian Cox

Vhils, installation view of disCONNECT, Schoeni Projects London (2020), ©Ian Cox

The most obviously political statement is by Iranian born, Brooklyn-based duo Icy and Sot who worked with a discarded folding table found within the house to create ‘Socialism vs Capitalism’. Capitalism is depicted by a full plate while the table is folded up, socialism with the table leaf dropped and the plate cut in half.

French artist Zoer’s impressive anamorphic installation was put up with the help of a local paste-up artist while Alex Fasko was able to install his own vinyls on the top floor. Best known for his audacious photos of street artists, his vinyls of crowds stretched across walls and ceilings take on a sinister meaning during times of restricted movement.

Other highlights include Aida Wilde’s ‘Granny Alley’ of word based art and a new works by Isaac Cordal whose miniature sculptures are dotted around the basement rooms and garden – I have a feeling I may still have missed a few. No room was left untouched, and visitors are invited to leave their mark on dedicated walls – and discarded toilet rolls in the understairs cloakroom.

Mr Cenz, installation view of disCONNECT, Schoeni Projects London (2020), Nick Smith Photos

Mr Cenz, installation view of disCONNECT, Schoeni Projects London (2020), Nick Smith Photos

This is the perfect exhibition to ease out of cultural lockdown. To adhere to official social distancing guidelines, only small numbers of visitors are invited into the house at hourly intervals allowing for plenty of time and space to have a good snoop around.

The exhibition continues until 23 August when the house will be returned into a private residence for gallery owner Nicole Schoeni, but this is not the end of the art story. The basement basement will be turned into a gallery with the lower basement extended into a studio space for artist residencies.

Be quick if you want to experience disCONNECT before all works will be shipped to Hong Kong where they will be sold to retrieve some of the investment it took to put this project together – click here to book one of the remaining tickets!

 

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disCONNECT – A ‘LOCKED-DOWN’ ARTIST TAKEOVER is presented by Schoeni Projects in collaboration with HKwalls

Participating artists: Adam Neate (UK); Alex Fakso (Italy); Mr.Cenz (UK); David Bray (UK) Herakut (Germany); Icy and Sot (Iran); Isaac Cordal (Spain); Vhils (Portugal); Zoer (Italy).

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the London location is open by appointment only.

About Schoeni Projects
Based across London and Hong Kong, Schoeni Projects is a new contemporary arts space promoting and celebrating cross-cultural exchange through an innovative series of collaborations, presented in unique creative environments. Founded by Nicole Schoeni, Schoeni Projects focuses on two initiatives each year – with an outlook from ‘West-to-East’ and ‘East-to-West’.

Schoeni Projects London, opening with a soft launch in July 2020 before its full opening in summer 2021, serves as both creative exhibition space and collaborative forum for the development of ideas and inspiration. An Artist in Residency programme and artist studio space is currently in development. Schoeni Projects HK opens in November 2020 in Hong Kong’s vibrant Wong Chuk Hang neighbourhood. The space presents Schoeni Projects’ commercial focus, committed to offering infrastructure and support in promoting and developing the careers of emerging and established international artists and collaborators.
schoeniprojects.com

About HKwalls
HKwalls is a non-profit arts organisation and annual street art festival which launched in 2014 with the goal of creating opportunities for local and international artists to showcase their work in Hong Kong and abroad. HKwalls celebrates creativity, originality and freedom of expression; actively building relationships with artists, the community and organisations worldwide while making the creative process accessible to all.
hkwalls.org

About Meike Brunkhorst

Meike Brunkhorst runs factor-m, a consultancy providing essential guidance and strategic support for artists seeking to improve efficiency and to achieve set goals