Frith Street Gallery is delighted to announce its 2014 summer exhibition, Mirror.
Mirror presents the work of four artists, each of whom work within the realm of portraiture and use the device of storytelling as a means of exploring personal identity and collective memory. In the mid 20th century psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan hypothesised that the formation of identity arose primarily in recognition of the reflection as oneself. Exploring the importance of identity, self-reflection and memory, Mirror presents us with a grouping of works of alternative and reinterpreted realities, circumstances or truths. The works in the exhibition combine forms of documentary and fiction, even hinting toward memorialization, to reveal alternatives to our commonly understood lines of history.
Presenting the audience with differing ideas of what it means to create a portrait, Mirror exposes the plurality of the term. Mohamed Bourouissa’s series Les Voleurs (The Thieves), 2014 consists of individual photographs of shop lifters in Brooklyn which, when shown together, form a portrait of a whole community at a low economic ebb. Contrastingly, Victor Man’s painting Pagan Space (2010) of a deconstructed pagan idol presents a more abstract take on portraiture as an interpretive form. Fiona Banner’s installation Life Drawing Drawings, a series of drawn dummy life drawing manuals creates an absence of form, while her video installation Mirror presents a striptease in the guise of a verbal portrait. Painter Margaux Williamson challenges our belief in the literal portrait – she offers a new series of works including a self-portrait which references the work of 15th Century miniaturist Jean Fouquet whose own works reveal his interest in painting the painter’s eye. Each artist individually pushes the boundaries of how contemporary portraiture can serve as a reflection of ourselves.
Fiona Banner b. 1966, Merseyside, England. Banner studied at Kingston Polytechnic, Surrey (1986–9), and at Goldsmiths’ College of Art in London (1992–3). She is best known for her ‘wordscapes’ or ‘still films’, blow-by blow accounts written in her own words of feature films or sequences of events. Recent exhibitions include The Vanity Press, a solo exhibition at Summerhall, Edinburgh and the forthcoming Wp Wp Wp at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2014.
Mohamed Bourouissa b. 1978, Blida, Algeria. Bourouissa studied at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France and at DEA, La Sorbonne, Paris, France. He was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet in 2012 and recent exhibitions include Périphéries at Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Calais, France, 2011.
Victor Man b. 1974. Romania. Man represented Romania at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and participated in the Busan Biennale in 2008. His solo shows include “If Mind Were All There Was,” Hayward Gallery Project Space, London, 2009, The Third Cover,” Galerie Neu, Berlin, 2013, “Szindbád,” Gladstone Gallery, Brussels, Belgium, 2013. He is the 2014 Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year.
Margaux Williamson b. 1976, Pittsburgh, USA. Williamson’s practice, while grounded in painting, also penetrates the realms of filmmaking, writing and criticism. In 2008 she made the feature film Teenager Hamlet, and later founded the cultural review site Back to the World with the critics Carl Wilson and Chris Randle. Recently, she was the Artist in Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario. An exhibition catalogue of her new painting series I Could See Everything, published by Coach House Press, was launched in the Spring of 2014.