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As Brexit looms, new gallery on England's south coast promises to be 'outward facing'

Brighton CCA, run by the University of Brighton, launches with exhibitions on German artist Franz Erhard Walther and south London collective Dog Kennel Hill Project

Franz Erhard Walther, Handlungsbahn no.4, (2000) Courtesy Jocelyn Wolff Galerie

As the 31 October Brexit deadline approaches, a new contemporary art gallery has opened its doors on the UK south coast which, says its artistic director, Ben Roberts, will be “outward facing”. Brighton CCA, run by the University of Brighton, launches with shows dedicated to the German artist Franz Erhard Walther and the south London collective Dog Kennel Hill Project (until 14 December).

The Walther exhibition will centre on the “activation of key sculptural works as performance, offering audiences a live perspective on [his] ground-breaking approach to object and performance”, according to a statement. The works are on loan from the Franz Erhard Walther Foundation in Germany, the artist’s gallery Jocelyn Wolff Paris and selected private collections.

Pieces from the past 15 years by the collective Dog Kennel Hill Project will be shown, including the ongoing work Etudes in Tension and Crisis, which is described as “a series of absurd, experimental and theatricalised situations designed with the ultimate aim of generating distinct situations of tension”.

The new gallery, comprising two exhibition spaces measuring 1,600 sq. ft each, will focus on the development of new work, experimentation and cross-disciplinary dialogue, a project statement says. Brighton CCA’s remit is to make connections with audiences and organisations locally, nationally and internationally, Roberts says. The aim is “to create a platform for visitors to be able to engage with the work of the university, but also to initiate and present projects working with artists and organisations of international standing”. 

The programme for the first year encompasses artists from Brighton, Morocco, Germany, Argentina and Spain. “We are working with our residency partners Mahler le Witt studios in Italy. International visitors will be able to see newly commissioned projects at Brighton CCA for the first time and they will be an important part of our community,” Roberts adds. The University of Brighton is the project's primary funder with additional support from Arts Council England.