Andy Holden: Maximum Irony! Maximum Sincerity – at Zabludowicz


Rooms filled with hundreds of works in different media. And it’ll make you laugh as well as think. Kentish Town’s contemporary arts gallery pulls out all the stops for an autumn show exploring an art movement founded in 2003



M!MS. Image: Andy Holden
M!MS. Image: Andy Holden

This weekend sees the launch of the big new autumn show at Prince of Wales Road’s ace Zabludowicz Collection. And, as we always urge, do check it out – especially if you’ve still never set foot in this world-class gallery on our doorstep.

We went to the preview last night and were mighty impressed with the new solo exhibition by UK-based artist Andy Holden, his “most ambitious project to date”, according to the curators. It will explore the history and legacy of MI!MS (Maximum Irony! Maximum Sincerity), an art movement founded in 2003 by Holden and a group of friends in their hometown of Bedford – before any of them had undertaken any formal art training.

Majestic: the former Methodist chapel
Majestic: the former Methodist chapel

Taking over the entirety of the Zabludowicz Collection’s space, Towards a Unified Theory of MI!MS will feature a single vast three-storey sculpture, containing life-size replicas of environments that were important in the formation of the movement.

“These rooms will be filled with hundreds of works in different media,” says the gallery’s Elizabeth Neilson, “including original artworks made by the MI!MS members, new works based on unrealised ideas of the group, a series of films and sound works produced via interviews with those involved in the movement, and dramatic reconstructions of key moments of the movement’s history played by teenagers from Bedford. The exhibition’s soundtrack is composed from the original music of MI!MS re-arranged for and performed by a children’s orchestra and choir.”

“Andy Holden has managed to make a monumental sculpture which explores more avenues of critical thinking, and art-making than any work I have ever experienced before,” Neilson continues. “At the same time, this show should also make you laugh: it’s all about our willingness to be lied to and our will be believe. And I challenge you not to leave gallery humming the tunes…they’re ridiculously catchy!”

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Until Dec 15. Thursday-Sunday, 12-6pm, 176 Prince Of Wales Road. Admission free. On a mobile phone? Find the Zabludowicz Collection here. The gallery are kindly offering readers a guided tour: register your interest at info@kentishtowner.co.uk. Members will get priority places.

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