Welfare To (Art) Work
Ruth Angel Edwards & Adam Gallagher
FREE CASH PRESENTS: Welfare to (Art) Work Part 3, the third in a series of investigations into the role of the benefits system in Britain's art, music and subcultural histories from Wysing residency artists Ruth Angel Edwards and Adam Gallagher. From Thatcher's Enterprise Allowance Scheme to Tony Blair's New Deal for Musicians, ‘Welfare to (Art) Work’ looks at how welfare policy has affected the lived realities of 'cultural producers' in the UK, and considers what, if any, horizon is left for artists and musicians in today's punitive, broken benefits system. This show includes an interview with experimental musician Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire, and was produced at Wysing as part of our 2020 broadcast residencies. The series was commissioned by [Montez Press](https://radio.montezpress.com/).
Ruth Angel Edwards explores the dissemination of ideology through pop culture, drawing from sub and counter cultural movements both past and present, as well as the conditions which give rise to them. Individualism, the body, gender and sexuality, consumerism and spirituality are recurring themes in her work; hedonism, spectacle and dissent are deconstructed and reformed to create communicative works across a variety of media. For the past few years her 'ENEMA' series of installation works have used fan fictional narratives staged within dense augmented spaces, to explore personal cycles of consumption and waste and the ways these things are politicised as they connect with global capitalist economies. She is interested in how ideology is communicated, consumed, internalised, rebelled against and regurgitated.
Ruth Angel Edwards works across a wide variety of media, showing works in a range of contexts both inside and outside of traditional art settings. She studied on School of the Damned, an alternative postgraduate art course and protest, run by and for its students in 2014. She has exhibited in the UK and internationally including at Arcadia Missa, Auto Italia South East, Almanac, Peak, London; Bonington Gallery, Flo Skate Park Nottingham; FACT, Royal Standard, Liverpool; Human Resources, Los Angeles; Mathew Gallery, New York and Moscow Youth art Biennale. She has produced radio for NTS, Resonance, Sunflower and Comet Radios in London, Montez Press Radio in New York, Berlin and London, Cashmere radio in Berlin, KChung Radio in Los Angeles and WCBN Ann Arbor in Michigan, US.
Adam Gallagher is an artist and writer from and based in London who works mainly through performance, sculpture and publishing. He works against the performative artist ego; disassembling its reliance upon the myopic context, history and industry of art to produce new meaning. He self-publishes a series of pamphlets called ‘E.A.R.F’. The series transposes original fictionalised biographies that aim to dramatise instances in which disparate subjectivities appear, relate, contradict and attempt to coexist, forming a picture of the fallout, failures and flatulence of global capitalism. Recently he has been working in collaboration with Curtly Thomas on his music and performance act, clubcouture and with him and Ruth Angel Edwards on The Unwelcome Collection, a collaborative performance. The project aims to provoke and challenge art’s inherent injustices, its tokenisations, professionalism and cleanliness. Recent exhibitions, performances and projects include: Free Cash Radio Hijack, Cashmere Radio, Berlin (2020), A group show at 3236RLS, (2020), Seminar: Working Title, Black Box Theatre, Oslo, (2020), ‘The Unwelcome Collection: We the Upsetters: Executive Plunge’, Peak Gallery, (2019), ‘What can Robert do next? Where is Roberto going?’, Piper Keys, (2018), ‘Divine Cargo’, South London Gallery, (2018), ‘CC, Klein presents’, with clubcouture, Somerset House, ‘The Unwelcome Collection: An Incendiary Costume Drama’, Auto Italia South East, (2018), ‘Words fail me’, Auto Italia South East. (2018) and ’Polly Anything’, Lima Zulu (2017). Commissioned writing include The Happy Hypocrite issue 11: Silver Bandage, ‘Helpful tips/Call me when you see this!’, ‘Tuna Temperature’, The Tube #3: Loosing, ‘Special Category Status’ and ‘Trust’ for The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis (2018), ‘Extra Judicial Killing’ and ‘What did I do to deserve this?’, Montez Press, Interjection Calendar (2017).
Ruth and Adam started the Free Cash radio project at the beginning of 2020.
Visit the Free Cash website here: [http://www.freecash.zone/welfaretoart](http://www.freecash.zone/welfaretoart).