Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Be True To Your Oblivion: Mark Titchner

Image Credit: Mark Titchner

Like I said in a previous post I've been a fan of Titchner's work for a while now, I first became aware of him when he was nominated for the Turner Prize back in 2006, the bold use of text and song lyrics instantly appealed to me, as did the subtle and obvious reference to his love of Heavy Metal. 

The exhibition in The New Art Gallery Walsall was absolutely amazing! The large scale video projection of Napalm Death's Nicholas Bullen was stunning, entitled 'N (I) B' it's a close up of Bullen's mouth as he recites a monologue written by Titchner, the video is completely silent and slowed down so we are left with is the movement of the mouth/lips/tongue as they speak. This silent performance is contrasted with the installation 'Be angry but don't stop breathing' which invites visitors to perform and give their own vocal response to the exhibition via the open mic set up - in turn providing the soundtrack for Bullen's performance.
The juxtaposition of sound and silence is also apparent in the large scale windchimes which are incapable of producing sound due to their size and weight, and a 2 sets of smaller chimes one of which never chimes and the other only chimes at a set time. 

The text pieces were my favourite pieces, Titchner's use of lyrics and phrases culled from popular culture is inspired! Taken out of their original context they become rallying calls to arms, poignant advice or even meaningless statements, very reminisce of Ed Ruscha's work I'd seen in the morning. 
"I'll choose my own fate" is the large scale banner in the galleries front window, lifted from Judas Priests "You don't have to old to be wise", it mimics the visual language of advertising yet stands out against the shop windows and their sale signs you encounter on the way to the gallery. Aswell as the large banners, there's also layered metal relief's in steel and aluminium, reflecting Metal's industrial origins, and text carved into heavy charred wood, bringing to mind the darker and sinister side of Metal, in 'The Other Spring' hand gestures and demonic shadows are incorporated into the piece. 

More Information about the exhibition can be found on the gallery's website, and there's a great mini interview with Titchner on Dazed & Confused's website.

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