Englishness is a Moving Target, Chris Alton
27th August - 18th September 2021
private view: 26th August 5:30-8:00pm
open Wednesday -Saturday 12:00-5:30pm
Chris Alton (b. 1991, Croydon) is an artist and curator. He grew up in Braunton, and attended Southmead School, Braunton School, and North Devon College. Skateboarding at Braunton Bowl and attending Quaker Meeting in Barnstaple have played a key role in shaping his life and his work.
Chris's work addresses the interconnected nature of prevailing social, political, economic and environmental conditions. In 2012, he founded English Disco Lovers (EDL), an anti-fascist, pro-disco group, which looked to reclaim the EDL acronym of the English Defence League. Drawing upon the history and etymology of disco, as a site of musical resistance, he redeployed the genre in opposition to a contemporary iteration of fascism.
‘The English Disco Lovers' deployment of wit and fun as weapons against belligerent xenophobia is a fine tribute to disco's subversive utopian vision.’
Dorian Lynskey, The Guardian, Feb 2013.
Other recent projects include What Mortals Henceforth Shall Our Power Adore, a video essay that frames the trident as a symbol of colonial intent. The work draws connections between classical mythology, colonialism, nuclear weapons and contemporary tax avoidance.
Englishness is a Moving Target brings together these key projects, alongside a selection of artworks produced over the last 9 years. The exhibition probes the unfxed nature of Englishness, asking questions of our collective history, values, and symbols.
Exhibitions & commissions include; Making of Us, The Turnpike, Leigh (2020-21); Throughout the Fragment of Infnity That We Have Come to Know, The NewBridge Project, Gateshead (2020); Link & Shift, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2019); Survey, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Bluecoat, Liverpool; g39, Cardif; & Jerwood Space, London (2018-19); Bloomberg New Contemporaries, South London Gallery; & Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Biennial (2018-19); The Billboard, Spit & Sawdust, Cardif (2018); Adam Speaks, The National Trust, Croome, Worcestershire (2017); You're Surrounded by Me, Turf Projects, Croydon (2017); Under the Shade I Flourish, xero, kline & coma, London (2016); and Outdancing Formations, Edith-Russ-Haus, Oldenburg (2015).
Chris Alton will be giving an online artist talk via Zoom on Saturday 18th September.