PӨƧƬ ƬӨƬΣM | Curated by Adam Dix and Dale Adcock  | OHSH projects, London

Dale Adcock | Simon Burton | Adam Dix | Tim Ellis | Rachel Howard | Henry Hussey | Lisa Ivory | Dean Melbourne | Linda Persson | Yelena Popova | Chantal Powell | Joanna Rajkowska | Alexis Soul Gray | Suzanne Treister

April 21st - May 21st 2022

Imagine an artist holding the metaphorical hand of an artist from the previous generation and that artist, doing the same, and so on, back through time, back 30 to 40 thousand years into the unimaginably distant past, when we made the great cave paintings of Lascaux and Maros-Pangkep karst. This imaginative exercise creates an image of an unbroken woven human connection, stretching back through time uniting, individuals into a group, linked by imagination, action and materials.

All the artists in this show feel conscious of this connection and image, as Freud succinctly put it, “Totem’ is, on the one hand, a group name, and, on the other, a name indicative of ancestry”.

The Totem stratifies hieratically as a projected image of the clan, family and individual, it historically can take any form, an animal, plant or tree, as long as it is then separated, made sacred to that individual or group (Ie, not hunted or eaten). This relationship to the sacred is also embodied in the exhibition. All the artists involved feel touched by the archetypical but with a postmodern consciousness of self.

Emile Durkheim theorised a “Collective Conscious” in the societies that he observed. A group’s emergent belief system and laws, that described them positively and negatively, this image could take the form of a totem, a projected image of that Clan, family or individual. The collective conscious has continues to shift and eddy, and this show explores the creative practices that are continuing to produce images of lineage, connection, and unity.

Post Totem explores our inner creative ancestors, the compulsion to create totemic images, explore the unconscious, whilst cultivating a greater consciousness of our present time and place.

OHSH Projects is a nomadic project space, conceived in 2021 by Henry Hussey and Sophia Olver from the desire to create tactile conversations between artists and spaces. The project has currently taken up residence at 106 New Oxford Street, a former restaurant, appropriated and transformed to present art in the centre of London. OHSH Projects is a collage of ideas explored through the artists we work with and the dialogues that emerge between their processes.

© Simon Burton 2019