HOAX is a curatorial project dedicated to giving an online, print and IRL platform to work that exists at the intersection of art and creative writing. We’re like a hybrid of an exhibition, a publishing space, a commissioning programme, and an ever-expanding survey and archive. We give a freely-accessible, public home to bold, new creative work that incorporates text, presenting one new work a week and hosting a digital archive of more than 300 works.
HOAX was started by Lulu Nunn in 2011 to examine the evolving use of text in the arts, and to be a positive, collaborative and emancipatory presence in an increasingly exploitative and reactionary art world. To date, we have presented original works by over 270 international artists and writers, and produced seven free-of-charge print editions, organising a physical event or exhibition to accompany each.
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HOAX provides a range of spaces to showcase all forms of creative works that incorporate text, rejecting the traditional categorisation that splits art and creative writing. Our process and platform have been designed to reflect this.
Work is chosen for our digital platform and print issues through submissions call-outs. These are rolling for digital, and occasional for print (normally twice a year). For events, we tend to invite those whose work we’ve already presented in print and digitally to contribute. We don’t have themes, and welcome a range of subjects, concepts and ideas, providing they aren’t at odds with our principles.
New online work is published to the HOAX website every week. Each work spends one week on the front page of our site, before gradually moving further back in our archive as new pieces are published—like new pages being added to the front of a book. You can explore all the works here, or listed by contributor here, and you can view each piece in succession by clicking the “Previous Work” button at the bottom of each individual work’s page. You may wish to begin with the most recent piece on the front page, working your way backwards.
Print work is presented through the twice-yearly, free-of-charge HOAX pamphlet. These print issues are distributed through galleries, museums, bookshops, libraries and other arts and community spaces all over the world, and can be ordered for free if you cover P&P.
Deliberately ephemeral in nature and designed for mass production, the print issues centre obtainability and accessibility over preciousness, in the nature of a zine rather than an artbook or art object. Anyone can download and print each issue for themselves for free too—to be printed in black ink on A3 paper, unbound. Each single-sheet issue folds into eight pages, to be read, rotated, unfolded, re-folded, like a 3D exhibition on paper, ensuring a physicality and playfulness that’s normally lost with mass production.
Live and IRL events and exhibitions are sporadic and take place mostly in the UK, independently or as part of bigger initiatives like Glasgow International or The Mosaic Rooms’ Small Press Fest.
HOAX exists to support—not profit from—the artists we work with. This includes paying what we can as fees, promoting artists beyond their involvement with us, using our position and voices for good, giving advice and guidance, and cultivating a nurturing network. In order to do this, we rely on regular small donations from those who enjoy HOAX and support what we do.
We want to resist and subvert the power structures that dictate how creative work is made, shown and consumed, and by whom. We’ve always tried to make work readily available to anyone regardless of location, wealth, education or access requirements, and to ensure our curatorial process is as sensitive as possible to power disparities and biases within the arts. You don’t need to journey to the nearest art book store or poetry library to get a copy of our print issues, and we don’t paywall any digital content. We welcome new and outsider artists and writers just as much as we do those who enjoy a lot of commercial success and are well known.
Over the years, we’re proud to have forged lasting, collaborative relationships with many individuals, groups, projects and organisations all over the world. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported us—our door is always open to you!