This weekend is shaping up to be a memorable one, as Void present the first Irish solo exhibition of British Turner Prize winner, Mark Wallinger, at their Patrick Street gallery.
Wallinger’s show, curated by Elaine Forde, is timely considering the Turner Prize is itself on its way to Derry in coming months - the first time the internationally renowned art prize has ever left England.
Among many achievements of a remarkable career spanning three decades, Mark Wallinger represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2001 and was awarded the Turner Prize in 2007 for his installation, State Britain, described in Artforum magazine as “one of the most remarkable political works of art ever”. The win followed an earlier Turner Prize nomination in 1995.
With his sculpture Ecce Homo being the first project chosen for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in 1999, it is safe to say Mark Wallinger is one of the best-known figures in the British art world today and his Artists’ Talk tomorrow night will no doubt be very well received here in Derry.
For Void, Wallinger will show a number of paintings from an ongoing series of Self Portraits. Also included is his feature length video installation, Construction Site (2012) and Shadow Walker (2011), another recent video work. The works demonstrate Wallinger’s ability as an interlocutor between the everyday and the intangible, with an eye for the overlooked, and an astute philosophy addressing relationships between the micro and macro/ politics and art.
Each body of work presents the viewer with a conundrum questioning how we categorise and understand the world we live in, offering observations, not answers. Wallinger encourages the viewer to look for the sublime in our contemporary existence, drawing upon a dichotomy between nature and culture he instigates a self-reflexive pause amidst a modern spectacle of chaos.
Exhibiting in Derry, at a time when a city attempts to ‘rewrite its history’, publicly through a cultural agenda, Wallinger’s approach to art-making and its critique of identity and self becomes particularly apt.
Wallinger’s exhibition runs until October 25, and all are welcome to the official opening tomorrow, Saturday, September 7, from 7.30pm until 10pm, with an Artists’ Talk taking place at 8.15pm. For more information, see: www.derryvoid.com.