John Hansard Gallery presents: David Blandy, How to Fly

This video is no longer available

David Blandy, How to Fly (still), 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

John Hansard Gallery presents: David Blandy, How to Fly

Online screening

May 1–15, 2020

John Hansard Gallery is pleased to announce two new digital works by artist David Blandy, especially commissioned to reflect on the uncertain times that we currently find ourselves in. These two new works show the audience How to Fly and How to Live, obliquely referencing our present moment, while also pointing to new potentials.

Through his diverse practice, David Blandy (b.1976, London, UK) questions our relationship to the culture that surrounds us, reflecting on the imaginary spaces that form our identity. Delving deep into video game, genre fantasy and Internet culture, he is fascinated by each form’s potential for communality and finding new forms of kinship.

The first of Blandy’s two new digital videos, How to Fly (2020) will be shown throughout May as an online exhibition to coincide with the launch of John Hansard Gallery’s new website, and will also be shown on e-flux Video & Film from May 1 through May 15. The second, How to Live (2020) will subsequently be shown online throughout June. These two newly commissioned works build on a series which uses the form of online video tutorials to explore ideas around patterns in nature and existence. Each of them begins with Blandy giving a step-by-step tutorial explaining how to make a short video about a specific subject, only using the tools available via a computer – through the Internet and video editing software to video games.

These two new tutorials develop from his previous works: How to make a short video about extinction (2014), and How to make a short video about ideas (2016). Both of these previous works explore the increasing uncertainty of what is real and what is artifice. As the digital world pervades and infiltrates every aspect of our lives, it becomes evermore difficult for anyone to ever have a ‘genuine’ sense of reality, instead these works highlight how reality is felt in a range of new and varying ways.

David Blandy is also one half of a collaborative practice with artist Larry Achiampong (whose recent exhibition at John Hansard Gallery, When the Sky Falls sadly had to close early due to the coronavirus pandemic). One of their recent projects, Finding Fanon (2015–17), focuses on the writing of Frantz Fanon and post-colonial identity, and their latest collaboration, entitled Genetic Automata (2019), was commissioned and toured by Arts Catalyst in 2019. This piece forms the first part of an ambitious new body of work by Blandy and Achiampong, exploring race and identity in an age of avatars, video games, and DNA ancestry testing. In 2018 their collaborative work was selected for the Film London Jarman Award.

David Blandy’s films are distributed through LUX and he is represented by Seventeen Gallery, London, UK. Blandy and Larry Achiampong are jointly represented by Copperfield Gallery and Seventeen Gallery, London, UK. Blandy’s work has been shown at numerous public institutions including Tate, London, UK; FACT, Liverpool, UK; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; INIVA, London, UK; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany; Spike Island, Bristol, UK; Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Monaco; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; Serpentine Gallery, London, UK; Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Modern Art Oxford, UK; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany; Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK and Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, UK.

How to Fly and How to Live are John Hansard Gallery online exhibitions as part of the Digital Array programme that is supported by the Barker-Mill Foundation.

John Hansard Gallery is a locally engaged and internationally recognized contemporary art gallery in Southampton. Being part of the University of Southampton, the Gallery aims to change the world for the better through great art. To realize this the Gallery creates innovative and critically acclaimed contemporary art exhibitions, events, engagement, and research projects that excite, challenge, represent, and reach the widest possible public audience.

Data & Information
Internet Art, Virtual & Augmented Reality
Return to

e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.