Inventory / Scott King / Donald Urquhart
curated by Wolfgang Tillmans
05/08/04 - 06/13/04
Portikus has invited the artist and professor at the Städelschule Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968) to curate an exhibition. Tillmans´ selection is based less on a superordinate theme than on the subjective idea of presenting various artists whose work he has been following over several years, but who until now were rarely or never shown in Germany. With Inventory, Scott King, and Donald Urquhart, Tillmans presents three artistic positions from London which in their diversity represent a London scene that can by no means be classified as belonging to "Young British Art" the way it is customarily labelled.
The artist group Inventory was founded in 1995 and understands itself as a collective enterprise that in the sense of what they call "fierce sociology" occupies a free interdisciplinary space, a space from which on a practical and theoretical level social and political phenomena are examined. Among other things, Inventory has until today published 13 editions of its own magazine. At Portikus, three video works of Inventory will be presented. "Coagulum" documents two actions in London shopping centres, in which groups of people joined together to form a tangle in the sense of the medical term coagulum (a blood clot without any function). "Ostalgie" is a film about an old man in Dresden cleaning his Trabant automobile with dedication and stamina. And "Sleepwalkers" is a study of the 'Americana' festival in Newark, Nottinghamshire, scrutinising the special relationship between Great Britain and the United States.
Scott King (b. 1969) merges in his works the rhetoric of political propaganda with references from the world of pop and media, thus commenting in a subversive as well as humorous manner on present-day culture and society. King increasingly uses the signs, symbols and tone of 'public language' to
create highly personal self portraits. For a number of years, King worked for the magazines "i-D" and "Sleazenation" as art director or creative director. He has designed record sleeves for Earl Brutus, Pet Shop Boys, Suicide and Morrissey, and he produced a series of publications under the title "Crash", an activity culminating in 1999 in the exhibition of the same name curated by Scott King at the ICA in London.
Donald Urquhart's (b. 1963) drawings combine in an absurd way different iconographies and various literary motifs. Urquhart's pictures contain models taken from comic strips, medieval or Victorian costumes, Mary Poppins, Quasimodo, Country & Western elements, representations of homosexual eroticism, pictures of plants and animals, and fetish cartoon characters. The titles of the works, like "Demented Nancy", "Dial Q for Quasi" or "Country Diary for Edwardian Cripple", express a very unique black humour. Donald Urquhart presented his drawings for the first time in a gallery context last year. Since the early 1990s, however, he has used photocopies of these works to design in different ways - depending on the motif of the event - the London club "The Beautiful Bend" which he runs. Urquhart additionally writes and publishes essays and plays.
The exhibition is supported by British Council