SHADOW BAN: Mike Ballard
Curated by Thorp Stavri
Shadow Ban invites viewers on a compelling journey through the intricate dynamics of visibility and invisibility embedded within the contemporary urban landscape. While the term "shadow ban" traditionally finds its roots in the realm of online platforms and digital censorship, artist Mike Ballard transcends these boundaries, expanding its significance to envelop the tangible world and the concealed narratives interwoven within metropolitan spaces.
In his site-specific installation, Ballard not only navigates the entropic condition of the city but also illuminates overlooked and underused spaces, transforming them into metaphorical representations of the shadows that linger in the online realm—where voices are muted, and content is suppressed. Through a meticulous blend of photography, adhesion, saturation, and abrasion, Ballard adeptly captures the nuanced processes of negation, displacement, and corrosion present in both the physical and digital dimensions.
Diving into a vast archive of materials, Ballard draws inspiration not only from his personal history but also immerses himself in the ethos of an unconventional artistic journey—one firmly formed by subcultures. The erratic nature of the city unfolds vividly in these overlooked spaces, where Ballard focuses on the remnants, residue, and serendipitous layering of signs and symbols, be they paints, varnish, stickers, advertisements, or instructions.
Employing a diverse array of media, including painting, sculpture, video and sound, Shadow Ban emerges as a profound exploration into the multifaceted interplay between presence and absence, inviting audiences to contemplate the hidden narratives that shape our contemporary urban experience.
Exhibition text: Eric Thorp
/Thorp Stavri are a London based curatorial platform, comprising curators Eric Thorp and Nicholas Stavri. They are committed to developing and supporting artists’ practices and accessibility to art through exhibitions, collaboration, residencies, talks, workshops and an arts podcast./