Lewis Henderson
b. 1993, London, England

Slap Dash For No Cash, The Old Newington Library, London (UK)_2018
07.09.18 - 09.09.18 (More photographs below)

Install of Slap Dash For No Cash at The Former Newington Library, 2018

Marie Jacotey, Jack Jubb, Rosie Kennedy, Lewis Henderson, Jessy Jetpacks & Hadas Auerbach.

With performance by Leigh-Anna Garwood.

Curated by Charlie Mills & Lewis Henderson

Slap Dash for No Cash is an exhibition that brings together the work of six city-based artists, each engulfed by the modern metropolis. 

Living and working in a city can sometimes overwhelm you with possibilities. So much to see and do. So much to work with. In the city, technology abounds and surrounds us. We are embedded within systems that are by definition alienating; inundated by objects that surpass our technical know-how; entrenched to the neck in detritus of every flavour: be it material, technical or visual.

As towns and cities merge into one amorphous mass, relocating the industrial underbelly of warehouses and workshops from one wasteland to another, space has become an ever more sparse commodity.

We live increasingly in a 24-hour world, yet our time too is distorted, blurring between work-time and free-time. Cities operate through a context of perpetual temporal injunction, a systemic stop-gap effect similar to that of a strobe light – a never ending succession of the here-and-now. People are alienated in the city precisely because of this enriching sense of presence: we simply don’t have the time to get to the bottom of things.

In this context, it becomes easy to lose sight of the nature of objects and their systems, as if the strobe light had been cranked up to a single blinding flash. People would rather pray for their Wi-Fi speed to increase, than to actually change provider. We take our broken iPhones to suspect market stalls, stuff torn clothes into textile recycling bins, blame BitCoin for poor streaming quality and discard our electronics at the whim of a fuse.

In one way or another, each artist presented in Slap Dash for No Cash works from the bottom up, willing to lay bare their materials and show the hand of their work: leather offcuts from a local upholstery become the material for human limbs; lo-fi images are cut and remixed into absurdist frameworks; digital screens undergo full-blown autopsy; builder’s silicone is used to frame a drawing; PLY off-cuts form the exoskeleton of chimera-like beings; waiting room chairs collect like tumbleweed in soon-to-be-renovated office guardianships. Slap Dash for No Cash celebrates a DIY aesthetic, born in the cities where time is money, and money is time.

Slap Dash for No Cash asks the question: What does it really mean to be making work in a twenty-first century metropolis, and what value does it have to make work that is true to its means of production?