Aldgate Connect BID has proudly supported the creation of Escape the Slick, an immersive environment created by Whitechapel Gallery’s youth collective Duchamp & Sons, in collaboration with artist Gaby Sahhar. Since September 2022 the group have been exploring the idea of public space, and in particular the immediate public space in and around the gallery on Whitechapel High Street. They have been considering what kinds of images and behaviours are present and valued in these locations, and what they’d ideally like public space to be like. Escape the Slick is the product of this.
You are invited to take a seat in this space, which rejects the slickness and polish of modern architecture, and instead embraces comfort and self-expression, blurring the lines between public and private space.
In the space you will find various references to the local environment including graffiti, shelving inspired by local wholesale shops, a sound piece mixing together atmospheric sounds and music tracks, and a community notice board populated with parody flyers created by the group. You’ll also find the interpretation panel for the exhibition in both English and Bengali, the two most commonly spoken languages in the local area.
You’ll also find sofas and armchairs which you’re encouraged to sit down in and take a rest. The collective has often spoken about the lack of comfortable environments locally, both inside galleries and outside on the street, for people to simply sit and hang out in and this is their response to this.
Whilst in the space we encourage visitors to have conversations with one another about their thoughts on public space and anything else they’d like to speak about. Visitors are welcome to contribute a thought to our community notice board, whether that’s in words or in the form of a drawing.
Escape the Slick aims to be an environment which counters the super slick new build environments popping up locally in the area immediately around the gallery. Instead it aims to provide warm, comfort, and space that you might not always expect to find in a gallery.
Duchamp & Sons is a collective made up of creative 15-24 year olds from in and around East London.Find out more
Photo Credit: Michael Martin, Duchamp & Sons Member