Jonathan Trayner

Jonathan Trayner’s work explores the relationship between, technology, image, and political subjectivity. His work is performative and driven by a thread of serious research that is played off against the surreal and the ridiculous. This is a response to what he sees as an unresolved issue within art, of it being both a philosophical investigation into the structure of culture(s) and a form of gratification as either spectacle or fetishised object. One of his key sources of inspiration is The Twelve Articles of the Upper Swabian Peasants, a political manifesto from the German Peasants’ War of 1525 and one of the first secular manifestoes to receive widespread, print-based distribution, through which the peasantry presented their political desires in their own words and images.


Omnia Sunt Communia

Lino print, naked float mounted onto Dibond
21x16cm, or unmounted 17.5x25cm

Omnia Sunt Communia

Lino print using language and motifs from a C16th German peasant uprising; the first that used the printing press. Omnia sunt communia – 'Everything Belongs to Everyone'.

The Animals of Vladimir Putin

Multiple woodcuts

The Animals of Vladimir Putin

These prints accompany the performance, Vladimir Putin; Master of Animals, and all the animals depicted have been photographed with Putin. The intention of the prints is to recapture and transfer Putin's charismatic aura.

The Mutability of All Rites (Opening/Cleansing)

Video, 20 mins

The Mutability of All Rites (Opening/Cleansing)

A performance for video showing an early morning ritual. The area around the fire pit is cleared of the night's detritus and swept, after which the performer returns to enact a dance.

V.D.M.I.Æ. (v3.0)

Performance with speaker, amplifier, aluminium, microphone stand

V.D.M.I.Æ. (v3.0)

A five act opera for robots based on Berta Lasks' play "Thomas Münzer". This work explores themes of labour, automation, and the communicability of ideas.

Vladimir Putin: Master of Animals


Vladimir Putin: Master of Animals

A performance lecture exploring the idea that Vladimir Putin is the premier artist of the Russian people and that he draws his shamanic power from the interactions with the animals that he is often photographed with.

Solo Exhibitions

2016      V.D.M.I.Æ. Casual Listening, London

2012      Temporary Autonomous Zone, Construction Gallery, London 

2008      The Ten Thousand Questions, University of the Arts, London

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017      Seasons, Maxilla Space, London

2017      Seven Hour Render, Thames Tower, Reading

2016      How to Read: Writing Groups, Five Years, London

2015      Guerrilla Sculpture Park, Tremolo Projects, London

2015      The Protagonists, NIASH, Hastings

2014      The Centre for Remote Possibilities, Matt’s Gallery, London

2014      Radioscopie: Medium as Metaphor, KARST, Plymouth

2013      Centenarians, ASC Projects, London Century City, ESA Showspace, London

2012      Exercises with Five Years, Tate Modern, London

2012      Die weiße Residenz, Gemeinschaftshaus Gropiusstadt, Berlin

2011      Communist Gallery Television, Cabaret Voltaire, Zürich

2010      Supermarket, Kulturhuset, Stockholm Market Estate Project, London

2009      Peking Duck or Video in Time of Crisis, Videoholica, Varna, Bulgaria 

2009      Viking Mountain Funeral, The Celestial Suitcase, New York

2008      In Reality & Fiction, Espaço Polivalente, Lisbon Art is not Mute, HIT, Gothenburg, Sweden

Other Projects

2008-2013      Regular contributor to the Communist Gallery and Propeller Island performance and screening events

2008-2013      Involved with post-education Free School group.

2016      How to Read: Writing Groups. How to Write: Reading Groups, Five Years London

2014      This is not Public, Five Years, London

2013      Cabin Call, Publication Studios, Vancouver, Canada (Im)possible School Book: As Found, Five Years, London 

2010      Propeller Island 3: The Gossipy Guide, Propellor Island, London

Residencies and Awards

2017      Silchester Roman site, Fine Art and Archaeology dept. project, Hampshire 

2014      Downstairs Residency Programme, Great Brampton House, Herefordshire

2012      Corbin Union Residency, British Columbia, Canada ACE Artists International Development Fund

2010      Sandarbh, Partapur, India Pilotprojekt Gropiusstadt, Berlin CRIR, Christiania, Copenhagen