Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness

Exhibition: Sat 10 March – Sun 27 May
Preview: Fri 9 March, 19:00 – 21:00 

The DCA bring the Hayward Curatorial Open to Scotland for the first-time with Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness, a major group exhibition curated by artist John Walter. The exhibition explores the nature of visual awkwardness through the work of artists and architects Arakawa and Gins; Cosima von Bonin; Niki de Saint Phalle; Benedict Drew; Justin Favela; Duggie Fields; Louise Fishman; Friedensreich Hundertwasser; Kate Lepper; Andrew Logan; Plastique Fantastique; Jacolby Satterwhite; Tim Spooner and John Walter. 

Shonky is a slang term meaning corrupt or bent, shoddy or unreliable, standing here for a particular type of visual aesthetic that is hand-made, deliberately clumsy and lo-fi, against the slick production values of much contemporary art. The exhibition proposes a more celebratory definition of ‘shonkiness’, showing how it can be used for critical purposes in the visual arts to explore issues such as gender, identity, beauty and the body.

John Walter said: “I am very excited and honoured to bring Shonky to Dundee. It’s a city on the up, with all the cultural development that is going on, and so this is an especially exciting time to stage an exhibition here. The galleries at the DCA are very beautiful and majestic, offering the opportunity for the works in the show to adapt to the architecture and come alive in a new way.

Over the next couple of months there will be a series of events relating to the exhibition for all ages, including Echo; DCA’s evening of multidisciplinary responses to its exhibitions programme, returns on Thu 10 May with guest artist Claire Biddles.