“Staring is a type of look that isn’t returned; consuming rather than collaborating with the other. It is the opposite of intimacy and equity: it’s a gaze that strips the subject of their agency.” G. Sian
Ikon Youth Programme (IYP) showcases new photography and moving image by artist Ashokkumar D Mistry as part of his ongoing series Don’t Stare.
Originally commissioned by Onyx Collective at Disability Arts Online, Don’t Stare (2022) incorporates generative and symmetrical portraits of the artist taken by others; in this instance IYP. Using collage, IYP has collaborated with Mistry on his process of making photographic images. The resulting work touches on how our perception of ourselves does not match that of others.
Treading a fine line between the hyper-visible and overlooked, the photo series is accompanied by Mistry’s film Don’t Freak (2022), which similarly conjures a type of seeing that is oppressive and unreciprocated. In the context of disability discourse — where the uninvited look, or stare, becomes a form of violence — the work affronts the gaze.
This project is co-created with Ikon Youth Programme on Slow Boat, supported by Freelands Foundation.
About the artist
Ashokkumar D Mistry is a proudly Leicester-based, Neurodivergent multidisciplinary artist, writer, researcher, activist and curator working in the UK and internationally. Subverting technologies and ideologies, he challenges conventional ways of making and viewing art. Mistry’s research scrutinises differences in expanding our understanding of the human condition. A co-founder of the Disability in British Art Research Group, part of the British Art Network, Mistry has written extensively for Disability Arts Online. @ashokdmistry
About Ikon Youth Programme
With the support of Freelands Foundation, over three years (2021-24) Ikon Youth Programme (IYP) navigates the waterways on board Slow Boat, a converted narrow boat. IYP are collaborating with creative thinkers and makers to reimagine Slow Boat as a local art school.
Ashokkumar D Mistry and Ikon Youth Programme in conversation
Thursday 23 November, 6–7pm
Free, booking essential
Join artist Ashokkumar D Mistry and Ikon Youth Programme for a discussion examining Don’t Stare. Together they explore themes of masking, societal pressures and expressing identity as a young person.
Open Thursday 23 November – Sunday 3 December, 11am-5pm. The exhibition will close at 3pm on Thursday 30 November.
Events Room, First Floor
Free entry, please consider making a donation.
Please note the film Don’t Freak contains adult language.
Seating is available
Information on Ikon Gallery’s accessibility is available here
For additional access enquiries please contact email@example.com
1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS
1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace
Birmingham, B1 2HS
Ikon is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and Birmingham City Council.
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