Mark Wallinger at Void, Derry

By Sarah Jackson | 02 September 2013

Exhibition preview: Mark Wallinger, Void, Derry, September 7 - October 25 2013

Mark Wallinger, Shadow Walker (2011) video installation
Mark Wallinger, Shadow Walker (2011). Still from video installation© Mark Wallinger, courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London
Despite being a remarkable and prolific artist, Mark Wallinger has never had a solo show in Ireland – until now.

His illustrious career includes Ecce Homo, the first project chosen for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2001, and his 2007 Turner Prize-winning recreation of Brain Haw’s long protest outside Parliament.

Most recently, he has created one of the most ambitious projects for Art on the Underground by designing 270 unique labyrinths to be displayed at every station on the network.

This autumn, Void will present a number of painted and video works, demonstrating Wallinger’s ability to connect the everyday with the intangible.

Wallinger’s previous connections with art and politics - such as State Britain, a painstaking replica of Haw’s protest - make him an apt artist to be exhibiting in Derry.

After many years of turmoil, Derry-Londonderry is transforming physically and culturally. This process has been hastened by the city winning the bid to become the first ever UK City of Culture in 2013.

As Derry attempts to rewrite its history and identity, Wallinger’s art creates its own critique of identity and self with his Self-Portrait series. Each canvas has been painted with a unique letter I, as a capital or small letter and in different fonts.

The result is a witty commentary on the idea of a self-portrait and the universal representation of individual identity – the word I itself.

His art has also often addressed relationships between the viewer and how they perceive the world we live in, questioning our perception and preconceived ideas but without offering answers.

In both Construction Site and Shadow Walker, ordinary acts such as erecting scaffolding or walking down a street are reframed to reveal moments of beauty that transcend the everyday.

The connection between the sublime and the ordinary is clear in all of Wallinger’s work, be it painted, filmed or even a recreation of a real protest.

His work may appear deceptively simple, but this is an artist who continually asks viewers to confront their preconceptions and look again.

  • Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm. Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @VoidDerry.

Follow Sarah Jackson on Twitter @SazzyJackson.

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