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In Our Hands

Navajo Rug c 1910 (detail)

Scholarly research meets artistic expression at a new exhibition at Somerset House. It’s a collaboration between CMCI academic Dr Richard Howells and London-based art collective Le Gun, under the title “In Our Hands”. It explores the relationship between creativity and Utopia, combining their ideas about the role of aesthetics, culture, mythology and religion in making the world a better place.

The starting point is Howells’ book A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design, and this two-room exhibit translates the verbal into the visual, showing Utopia to be a process rather than a destination.

Le Gun’s installation Temple of Perpetual Myth combines with Howells’ cross-cultural selection of exhibits to ask where creativity comes from. Together they illustrate the human drive to take the raw materials of life and make them into things that are better than they instrumentally need to be.

Making in the arts is shown to be both a process and a metaphor for the path to Utopia. This is not a luxury but an obligation. As the philosopher Ernst Bloch declared: “Life has been put into our hands.”

The installation runs until September 30th at the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House, as part of the Utopia 2016 celebration. More at:

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