Future Proofing bursary recipient: Aislinn Evans

We are delighted to announce that Aislinn Evans has been awarded the 2020 Future Proofing bursary.

When did socially-engaged art lose touch with socialism, and how do we make participatory art radical again? – Aislinn Evans

To mark the end of our 20th anniversary in 2019, we wanted to look forward and invest in the next 20 years and the next generation of artists by offering a bursary of £2,000 to an artist aged 25 or under to imagine the future they’d like to see, how their practice could shape it, and what they need to do that.

Following an open call for proposals in November 2019, LADA received 64 applications for the bursary.

Before the apocalypse, the Live Art Development Agency put out an open call: a £2k bursary for a young artist to develop their practice, and think about how the future we want to create. I opened my application with: “When did socially-engaged art lose touch with socialism, and how do we make participatory art radical again?” But what I should have opened with is: “I want a future where I’m not competing against 1000 other barely-employed nobodies for chump change.”

Then again, I wanted the money. I ended up running the project over lockdown, where questions of participatory art seemed frivolous. My own projects that can be described as such died immediately. I’m not sure I want to resurrect them now, if I even can. What was going to be a series of workshops became interviews, bursaries, and the texts recorded in this zine.

Despite what the cover says, they will not absolve your guilt. What they might do is provide context, guidance, and vindicate all the frustration you’ve been feeling with artists jumping into bed with property developers. They will not give you the full picture, you will not agree with everything written herein (neither do we), and they will not abolish capitalism. We’d quite like that last one though, so take the £3-4 you might have spent if this zine weren’t free and sling it towards union dues or a strike fund.

Aislinn Evans

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Aislinn Evans is an interdisciplinary artist using print, performance, and participation to explore the intersections of working-class queerness. Their work interrogates the class status of fine art disciplines and embraces the radically lowbrow. Aislinn reclaims archetypal narratives and retells, reframes, reimagines the role of the outsider. With a background in slam poetry, games, and comics, Aislinn is interested in the ways ‘low’ culture can make complex ideas culturally accessible – and fun!

Banner image credit:

Aislinn Evans at Barbican’s 'Change Makers', the Broadway, 2018.

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