Exhibitions Archive

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  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
    Clunie Reid 'Out There, Not Us'
  • Clunie Reid ‘Out There, Not Us’
  • 9 May to 20 June 2009
  • Clunie Reid Out There, Not Us (detail)
  • Digital image, Dimensions variable, 2009.
    Courtesy the artist and MOTinternational, London

Are you French? Do you like Paris Hilton? Do you speak Hilton? Do you dance in Hilton’s space? 
Who have you looked at? What have you seen of Hilton? What have you touched? Has Paris touched you? 
Have you touched something of hers? What Paris is touching you? Do you torch her fire? 
Are you part of the Hilton family? Are the Hiltons part of your family? What life are you leading? 
What life is leading you? Whom do you lead astray? Do you go forward? Where do you go with time? 
Are you going forward? Is it better not going forward? What are you fed? What are you talking about? 
Who leads you on? What is your fate? Are you all satisfied with your fate? Is your life before you? 
Is your wife behind you? Do you live your wife? Are you jangling in June? Do you like to be caressed? 
Who cares for your back? Whose back do you make car tracks on? How do you track your back? 
When did you last see your back? Who are you from behind? Are you behind yourself? Is that really her?

Paul Buck ‘not italics no title’ 2009

Clunie Reid makes aggressive collages that question the medium of photography, as well as the integrity of the source material they employ. This subject matter includes images taken directly from the mainstream media, advertising, the internet and the artist’s own highly idiosyncratic collection. For this exhibition, which is Reid’s first solo project in a regional UK public gallery, the artist has made a vast series of new work, including photo-collage and animation, that responds to the tension between experimental writing, text and image, the culture of Southend, and the changing face of the ‘Thames Gateway’; what, in one of Reid’s collages, is described as ‘the semiotics of Southend, or [Martha] Rosler meets regeneration’. Much of the photographic material for this project comes from Reid’s own documentation of Southend, which together with a daily collection of found images connects to the cultural specificity and universality of particular places, and how the town visually maps itself onto broader social, political and popular concerns. If the artist has decided

to turn her practice towards the context within which Focal Point Gallery is situated — in the first instance, a gallery within a well-attended regional public library, together with the community that it serves — then her ideas around culture, class, gender-politics, images and advertising fit seamlessly with the meaningful context of a regional art space, concerned as it is with ideas of photographic visual languages, reading, narratives, historical archives and pictorial texts, together with its surrounding collection of literature and reference material. As the writer and editor Paul Buck has pointed out in his essay to accompany the exhibition: ‘Southend is not London, the audience might not be regular art exhibition attendees. Hopefully, they will read the work in other ways than some of the art-conscious audiences in the London galleries. They might consist of people on holiday at the seaside, there with the different agendas and expectations that holidays bring. Or they might be local people, perhaps even have wandered in from the adjacent library rooms, there to borrow

books — which also adds to the way in which they might approach reading the text/images on the wall, another unconscious influence on how they are supposed to proceed with the exhibition straight after scanning the nearby book shelves.’ Buck goes on to suggest that, in one sense, Reid’s work isn’t doctrinaire — she simply wants to stimulate our thoughts, to enable us to read certain words against certain images, and for us to flow from one to another. If her images and installations draw from popular magazines such as Hello, OK!, Grazia and Heat, her intention might be to ‘un-sell or disconnect us from the products and the notions of our society.’ Her collages and assemblages can be seen to act as ‘a rupture of adverts and promotions and their purpose, a rupture of images. They are intent on challenging us to see everything anew. She wants us to face up to the aggressivity and sexuality of our world of images. She wants the media itself to reflect on the images they use… perhaps even to question their integrity. Or perhaps she wants to tell us that the media has ethics

as dubious as the bankers, despite parading a stance that might indicate the contrary.’ If Reid reflects on the tradition of collage-as-critique, her images are copied and re-photographed many times before being temporarily fixed to the wall, adding layers with the glare of a flash reflected in an image in order to provide a rough speedy urgency. It has been pointed out that this deliberate ‘glare’ mirrors the content of consumerism and celebrity in a brash manner. It’s almost as if Reid wants the audience to become involved in the image through her assault on their senses. This immediacy has inevitably started to attract a younger generation who, through their engagement with the work, are able to consider the pressures put on them by society. It could be said that these pictures also provide an older generation with an awareness of the predicament or incessant barrage of images that the more vulnerable of the younger generation succumb too. In all, the exhibition will comprise an installation of 120 collages made from mixed media that includes cardboard, black Mirri Card, photographs,

tape, and marker pen. This will produce a single work measuring two by twenty meters in total, providing a continuous unbroken installation that will fill the back wall of the gallery. This is the first time that Reid has been given the opportunity to consider the site-specific nature of her work on such a scale; elements from the show will also  be re-photographed and reproduced in the exhibition catalogue, and a specially produced edition of prints will draw on additional images of reflective surfaces from completed collages. In one respect, it is also worth mentioning that Reid’s works’ status as a commodity is consciously fragile. Using gaffer tape to fix the work to the walls points towards its transient nature in an obvious manner; her photo-collages can bleach or mark easily, and the artist’s stance, which can be read as that of ‘anti-collecting’ — in a cynical twist within this exhibition — can also be read as producing a single, highly desirable work. Paul Buck again: ‘by offering a show that is itself one piece rather than a collection of individual pieces

arranged on a wall, Clunie is saying this work is not for sale. You can’t buy a slice of the cake and take it home to your living room wall. This wall of pleasure and assault is the piece. By making it one work, she is saying that only the wealthy can buy it. Bankers perhaps. Clunie would surely enjoy the irony of being exhibited in one of the Head Office foyers, if they would only dare. Not only would she receive the initial purchase  money, but she would have the satisfaction of knowing it would fall apart, that its ephemeral nature is part of its very raison d’être.’

Clunie Reid was born in Pembury in 1971. The artist lives and works in London, and is represented by MOT international, London.
Recent exhibitions include ‘PEEK A DE BOOM’ Galerie Reinhard Hauff, Stuttgart, 2009, ‘Life as You Like it’, MOT international, London, and ‘Nought to Sixty’, ICA, London 2008.

For further information and images
on this exhibition, please contact
Laura Bowen, Focal Point Gallery’s
Exhibition and Marketing Officer on
01702.534.108

laurabowen@southend.gov.uk

Clunie Reid ‘Out There, Not Us’ is generously supported by Southend Borough Council and Arts Council England, East.