The Graduate Award assists one artist per year in the transition from art student to practicing artist. This year’s selected artist is Middlesex University BA Fine Art graduate Chris Alton.
We Operate a Ladder System is a new body of work exploring the arcane
nature of etiquette, the ceremonial observances dictate the unspoken
parameters of so-called 'polite behaviour'. However, the primary and most insidious function of etiquette is to assert supremacy. This is achieved through
the deployment of exclusive codes, by a dominant minority.
Through works spanning video, writing, participatory performance and instructional diagrams, Alton mines an array of cultural phenomena; cutlery wielding politicians, dystopic fiction and a private school's etiquette scale that attempts to echo Darwinian evolution, in order to consider how the machinations of powerful elites are enacted through their knifes and forks.
Chris is a multidisciplinary artist, whose practice often brings together distant, yet connected cultural phenomena. Whether deploying disco music against fascism or playing table tennis in competition with aggressive architecture, he utilises seemingly incongruous juxtapositions to address the multi-layered nature of prevailing social and political conditions.
Working across a range of media, such as; pseudo-documentary film, live events/actions, online interventions and open source games, Alton's practice shifts and adapts, reacting to context-specific stimuli. His projects are humorous and playful, frequently seeking to; undermine, expose and excoriate the power structures that shape our world.
Light Eye Mind interviewed Chris Alton ahead of his show to speak more in-depth about his progress since graduating, click the button below to read further..
Under the Shade I Flourish
2015 - 16
English Disco Lovers (EDL)
2012 - 15
TEDxBrighton: Losing Control