CAPSID is the first major monograph of British artist John Walter’s work. The result of his collaboration with molecular virologist Professor Greg Towers of University College London, CAPSID addresses a crisis of representation surrounding viruses such as HIV, by transposing the scientific research of capsids onto the broader subject of how culture is transmitted.
Capsids are protein shells contained within viruses that help protect and deliver viruses to host cells during infection. Using imagery and narratives associated with groundbreaking scientific research supported by the Wellcome, CAPSID encompasses the full range and scale of Walter’s work, from sculpture and performance to video, drawing, costumes, prints and installation.
Featuring an introduction by Professor Towers, a newly commissioned essay by writer Jonathan P. Watts and an interview with the artist, CAPSID offers an essential insight into Walter’s work, which is underscored by a maximalist approach and an unashamed celebration of shonkiness, a visual aesthetic that embodies the handmade, the awkward and imbalanced, at odds with the slick production values of much contemporary art, inviting us to embrace new ways of thinking.