Contra Culture

George Cory, Mario Hans, Sam Hutchinson, Natasha Luetchford, Joel Snowman, Rebecca Sperini & John Paul Grande

Curated by Tomas Poblete & Hannah Prizeman

Venice Agendas 2019 The Market: What is the Value of Art?⁠

20-22 December 2019

Opening: Friday 20 December 2019, 6-9pm⁠

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Contra-Culture is an event and exhibition that explores Folkestone’s youth sub-cultures as part of Venice Agendas 2019 The Market: What is the Value of Art?⁠

The installation presented a new journal, This Week in Folkestone (TWF) and performance by John Paul Grande – a professional hair stylist trained by Vidal Sassoon and local skater. John’s unique story presents an extraordinary insight into an innovative hyper-local social model developed out of a diaspora’s cultural hybrid deeply enrooted in the county’s margins.

The event opens up debates on class, community, belonging, and gender within the context of sub-cultures. It explores the value of tradition and resistance underlying Folkestone’s vernacular heritage, and hijacks the status-quo of cultural validation in Folkestone’s emerging art scene: by presenting a more diverse language of cultural activities in the public space, such as skating. It also explores the flourishing of sub-cultures that consider perceived vandalism and trespassing as reclamation and protest. 


Images by Nina Shen 

Opening event, publication launch & performance: Friday 20 December 2019, 6-9pm⁠

Venice Agendas 2019 The Market: What is the Value of Art? examines the financial mechanism that powers the art world. How do people in the arts make a living? How does the art market impact on the territory and environment that artists, institutions, curators and writers have to navigate to create, present and discuss original contemporary artwork? Who are the beneficiaries and who are the losers? 

Commissioning twenty-five artists and writers and six groups and collectives to respond to some of these questions, the project began in May during the press days of the Venice Biennale with recorded round table discussions at the Metropole Hotel.

Get your copy of the limited edition Risograph publication here.