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24 Jul 2008

Launch of Butcher's project space in London: Wait Here by Tim Etchells

Wait Here by Tim Etchells


9 July – 25 August
24 hours/day, 7 days/week



183 Royal College Street
London, NW1 0SG

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Tim Etchells

Wait Here


183 Royal College Street

London, NW1 0SG

9 July – 25 August

Viewing hours: 24 hours/day, 7 days/week

Shown for the first time in London, Tim Etchells's artwork Wait Here (2008) launches the opening of new project space Butcher's on 9 July.

Tim Etchells uses language to allude to awkward or troubling encounters, often calling on the viewer to respond or act in a certain way. In his display for Butcher's shop front window, Etchells's red neon sign reads in full Wait Here I Have Gone To Get Help, suggesting an ominous event has taken place, the gravity of which we do not know. Passersby may wonder if the sign refers to an individual event, something that happened recently on the street or to a general state of the neighbourhood/country/planet.

But there is a tension between the language and materials of this artwork. The urgent call to wait is at odds with the fixed state of the sign. How long should we hold on? And how long has the situation (whatever it is) been going on? Is it getting worst while we wait? Will help come in time? If we leave, are we forsaking the possibility of help, even hope, in the future?

The absurdity of this dilemma is particularly appropriate for the launch of an unfunded non-commercial art space. Butcher's identifies with Etchells' piece in terms of its relevance to our immediate financial and organisational capabilities, but also as an oblique comment on the role of art spaces in the community. Will Butcher's reaffirm a sense of community, or is it just another stage of gentrification?


Butcher's is a new project space dedicated to fully traceable and sustainable creative practices. Butcher's presents a wide range of creative endeavors by local and international artists from culturally and economically diverse backgrounds.

Established in 2008 by Ben Borthwick and Cylena Simonds, Butchers is run by a collective of curators, artists, musicians, and writers. There are no fixed members or sites of operation, but a shifting affiliation of individuals activating shared resources to present alternative social, political and aesthetic models and dialogues around contemporary art practice.