HS Projects is delighted to present ‘Be Like Mike’, an exhibition of new and recent work by Chris Cawkwell.
‘athletes around the world, we all have a crazy dream?
but, what are you gonna do to accomplish your crazy dream? you see, not all of us have eyes to see
not all of us have feet to walk
not all of us have hands to hold
but I know all of us have a heart of gold
so, what area you gonna do to accomplish your crazy dream? what are you gonna do?
’cause I know what I’m gonna do
I’m gonna do it
so, Just Do It’
– Demarjay Smith, NIKE ‘Just Do It’ campaign, June 2018
Nike is ubiquitous with basketball thanks to celebrity brand incarnate Michael Jordan. As brands continue to make inroads into the public domain through sponsorships of state schools, community sports teams and public space – swooshes and ‘Just Do It.’ slogans are a common place; adorning billboards; trainers; clothes; basketball courts; buildings; Instagram feeds (and navels).
Be Like Mike explores the material plenitude of brands such as Nike, and how the brand has transcended sport to encompass lifestyle choice(s) and politics. It is no longer a choice of this brand or that brand, we are buying into the dream, and the dream of celebrity such as Michael Jordan. The dream that our lives will somehow be enriched, even though we are poorer having spent our money.
Cawkwell’s work explores global marketing and consumer culture utilising contemporary technologies, performative and interactive elements to critique the social systems and processes which operate around us and highlight the rate at which products are consumed and commodified.
Born in Leicester 1985, Chris Cawkwell graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Art in 2012. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including Vandal, The Fitzrovia Gallery, London (2023); The Exhibition, The Artists Contemporary, Hackney Downs Studios, London (2021); You Are What You Eat, Bohunk Institute, Nottingham (2016); Tokyo Wonder Site’s creator in residence program (2012); Project India (Asia Arts Projects & the 1%-ers art collective (2011). Cawkwell has completed residency programs at the Bohunk Institute, Nottingham, in preparation for solo show Sensorama (2013); Tokyo Wonder Site, Aoyama, (2012); Space 118, Mumbai, (2011). His work forms part of the permanent collection at Space 118. He is a founding member and director of non-profit, artist-led space (and collective) ArtLacuna, based in Clapham Junction, London.
‘Be Like Mike’ is at 12 Hammersmith Grove from July 2023 to February 2024.