A playful and unruly edition of London's 10 day visual art festival happening in and around Deptford.
DEPTFORD X 2019
25 October – 3 November
2019 is my first year at the helm of Deptford X and it has been a privilege to get to better know the artists, communities, businesses and organisations in Deptford and the surrounding area. The festival would not be possible without the endless support and goodwill of all the venues offering up space for projects, and of course the tremendous amount of creativity and drive from local artists that goes into the impressive and ever-growing Fringe programme. I would like to specifically thank the seven artists in the Curated programme for all their hard work, generosity and commitment to producing such ambitious, thoughtful and perceptive work for Deptford X.
‘Stop Making Sense’ is the starting point for this year’s festival. It’s a phrase borrowed from Talking Heads’ 1984 concert film of the same title and one that I feel is pertinent to our contemporary moment. In all probability 2019’s Deptford X will coincide with Brexit on 31 October; a symptom of divided communities, unscrupulous politicking and media propaganda, whichever side of the fence you stand on. The shape and sense of our societies and the authority with which they are presented to us are shifting constructions assembled with words, laws, money and social relations. We need to keep tearing at these structures to reveal the so-called nonsense of humanity beneath—the laughter, play, irreverence and empathy that unite us. These are all essential attributes for the continued health of our relationships, communities and societies and so I have chosen artists for the Curated programme whose work pokes holes in ‘sense’ in order to construct new meanings; locate masked knowledge; or reorder social relations.
The artists in the Supported programme and some in the Fringe have also taken up this mantle and produced projects that reject presiding sense. It is the nature of Deptford X that these ideas are brought into everyday spaces and places for all to encounter and it is my hope that through this you will find this year’s programme of work as inspiring and thought provoking as I do.
The core programme for Deptford X 2019 is made up of two strands: Curated and Supported. These are artists that are chosen, supported and funded by Deptford X.
A curated programme of seven artists and five new commissions by the festival director, Nathalie Boobis, within the framework of ‘Stop Making Sense’,the starting point for 2019’s festival. The Curated projects can be read as a distributed exhibition across different sites and spaces in Deptford. The artists are Kobby Adi, Sarah Browne, Roland Carline, Tiz Creel, Jin Han Lee, Sophie Mallett and Gray Wielebinski.
New for 2019, the Supported strand is selected by open call and is intended to widen access to participation in the festival by providing funding, production and curatorial support to successful applicants. This year’s winners were selected by guest judges Teresa Cisneros, Natasha Hoare, Christopher Kirubi, Hew Locke, Imran Perretta and Deptford X judges NT, Maggie Learmonth and Nathalie Boobis. The artists are Ikra Arshad, George Boros, Tyreis Holder, Nkechinyere Nwobani-Akanwo and Davinia-Ann Robinson
Deptford X’s uniquely unjuried Fringe programme of projects submitted by local artists, curators and venues.
A Parade of Friendly Monsters to close this year’s Deptford X festival on Sunday 3 November, 12 – 2pm.