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Deadpan art arrives in Preston

30 November 2012

Rachel Atkinson

International exhibition opens in Hanover Gallery

An international deadpan art exhibition is currently taking place at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The Hanover Gallery has been chosen as the venue for Deadpan Exchange VII, which celebrates and explores communication around the notion of the ‘deadpan’ aesthetic.

The work presented by the seven Lithuanian based artists is the seventh part in a series of international deadpan exchanges, which began in Denmark and Berlin in the summer of 2007.

In each of the shows, the artists are actively involved in a give-and-take of deadpan communication - a sort of classic comedy exchange. The work exhibited at the Hanover Project is a reaction to the work of artists who exhibited at VGAC Gallery in Vilnius, Lithuania, for Deadpan Exchange VI in November 2011.

“This fantastic international exhibition is a great coup for the University”


Deadpan is a form of comic delivery in which humour is presented without a change in emotion or facial expression, usually speaking in a monotonous manner. This puts the burden of interpretation on the viewer.

Victoria Lucas, a Lecturer in the School of Art, Design and Performance and Hanover Project Gallery co-ordinator, said: “This fantastic international exhibition is a great coup for the University and is a strong start to the new Hanover Project programme. While many of the pieces seem to start out with a completely absurd premise, the artists, working like serious piano movers, create works that are firmly rooted somewhere between comedy and tragedy.”

“The organisers want to offer work that both engages and actively challenges the viewer”


She added: “The organisers want to offer work that both engages and actively challenges the viewer to interpret the work for him or herself. They are also interested in bringing a diverse group of artists together from different places throughout the world and starting a dialogue that might not take place outside of formal institutions.”

At the end of Deadpan Exchange VII, Victoria will select seven British artists who will create reactions to the works of the seven Lithuanian artists, and these reactions will be exhibited in another country. There will be one more exchange and then a final exhibition in Copenhagen with all the artists’ works in 2014 or 2015.

The free exhibition is open to the public between 9.00am and 5.00pm until 7 January in UCLan’s Hannover building.