‘Bleak House’

Curated by Brad Feuerhelm, published by Void.


Emel Abdipour • Hoda Afshar • Jörg Colberg • Robin Cracknell • Brad Feuerhelm • Matthew Genitempo • Katrin Koenning • Petra Kubisova • Roosmarijn Pallandt • Sarker Protick • Bryan Schutmaat • Wouter Van de Voorde

In curatorial terms, ‘Bleak House’ is a proposition based on a narrative device used in the chapterized Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name from 1852-1853. Dickens’ novel is a typical Victorian story of intrigue regarding the dynamics of English class structure and its hidden affairs. It is Dickensian in the most literal sense. The Bleak House proposed here within the pages of our similarly chapterized photography collection is altogether lacking in overt politicized drama. Instead, the proposition is regarding narration and how artists function under the idea of an oblique and omniscient author.

— Brad Feuerhelm

The Project

Bleak House (2020) is a project that Brad Feuerhelm and the Athenian publisher Void have embarked on in which having selected 12 artists, the focus of the “plot” simply revolves around the idea of producing art under the duress of our current crisis. Without naming the 2020 author directly, the focus of the works selected is to consider how artists respond to the challenges of producing work in an unprecedented time. The aim of which is to examine the moment, the retreat from normality and to reconsider how work is made under new conditions. The artists selected share some common elements in their work, but they have been left to their task with no restraint or larger mandate. It is a proposition in which their only concern is to produce images during the first half of 2020.

The Release

For the indeterminable future, the chapters/zines/books will be released as PDFs to the world for free. When it becomes possible to do so, the works will be printed, bound and catalogued in a limited edition box set available for purchase. In the meantime, we are offering the zines via PDFs for free as they are created.