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John Walter: CAPSID

CAPSID is the latest multi-media maximalist installation by London-based British artist John Walter. Presenting a compelling, sometimes riotous and often surreal world, CAPSID is the result of collaboration between Walter and molecular virologist Professor Greg Towers of University College London.

This major exhibition addresses a crisis of representation surrounding viruses such as HIV, by bringing new scientific knowledge about viral capsids to the attention of the wider public using methods and references pulled from a simmering maelstrom of popular culture; from the cartoon antics of Adventure Time to Vegas hotel carpet design. In turn, this scientific knowledge is enabling Walter to innovate artistic concepts such as collage, colour field painting and pattern-making.

The exhibition also features the new HOME Artist Film commission, A Virus Walks Into A Bar, charting the journey of a Capsid, or protein shell contained within viruses, that help protect and deliver viruses to host cells during infection. But imagine if this took place in the Queen Vic from EastEnders, standing in for a cell under attack, with a bunch of angry locals as the immune system!

A programme of related activity will include film screenings, discussions, live performance and the first UK Flash Collective with Avram Finkelstein, founding member of the Silence=Death and Gran Fury collectives within the ACT UP New York movement.

CAPSID is supported by a Large Arts Award from Wellcome and Arts Council England Grants for the Arts. The exhibition is accompanied by a new HOME publication, CAPSID.

Curated by Bren O’Callaghan. Co-commissioned by CGP London and HOME Manchester. Supported by a Large Arts Award from Wellcome and Arts Council England Grants for the Arts.