In September we will open with a solo show by Mark Titchner. Organized around two new video works and a new wall reliefs, Titchner will look at the idea of permanence, or moreso, the illusion of permanence and our need to monumentalise the past. He will explore these ideas using a deliberately varied aesthetic that pitches the industrially made against works that meditate on the devotional connotations of folkloric objects.
Titchner's new video, The Last 10 Years, will project a stream of scrolling daily headlines on to the gallery wall. The headlines have been collected every day from The New York Times and Herald Tribune from the start of the millennium until the end of the decade. Rendered in a font alluding to the official 2012 Olympic typeface, the video will problematise this notion of permanence-making by compressing very recent history with the very near future (2012). The second video meanwhile is based on the hill figure of the Cerne Abbas Giant. Set in a 24 hour cycle moving from sunrise until sunset, the figure in the video is extruded from the ground to stand bent over on its knees. Titchner will look at how the figure, known as 'the Rude Man', poses a false monument in itself. Not only in the sense that it is it treated as a folkloric fertility symbol despite its debated origins, but also in terms of traditional monumental sculpture: solitary in the changing landscape, the hyper-phallic man is here made to bend at the knees and kneel as in prayer.
Around these two pieces Titchner will return to his text based practice with a series of new wall reliefs. The artist has held a longstanding interest in the impersonal language of the public realm, ranging from the promises of enlightenment in self-improvement type jargon to the quasi-mysticism of corporate mission statements. With the previously two dimensional digital letters now rendered in steel and extracted from their containment on a ground, Titchner will look at where ideology is made concrete to become a sculptural object. The paranoid action phrase denoting what is to come is now made-permanent as a monumental relic.
As Mark Beasley remarked on Titchner's practice:
'It is a practice that asks questions of history placed at the feet of the present, recognizing that we as individuals desire something to belong to us, to believe in and to hold dear. For Titchner it appears that freedom of choice and response are the only authentic freedom. As we too wave through the banners of the past, it is only courteous to ask, whose banner are you waving? Is it a flag of convenience? Who speaks for you?'
Mark Titchner lives and works in London. He is currently included in 'Nothing is Forever' at South London Gallery and was recently included in 'The Dark Monarch' at Tate St.Ives (2010). Titchner was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006 and has had solo museum shows at the Hellenic American Union (2009), BALTIC, Gateshead (2008 and 2007) and Arnolfini (2006). In 2011 he will have a solo shows at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece and the New Art Gallery, Walsall.