Artist: Victor Burgin
Venue: Bridget Donahue, New York
Exhibition Title: UK 76
Date: September 8 – November 6, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York. Copyright Victor Burgin Images.
The year 2016 is the 40th anniversary of Victor Burgin’s seminal photo-text work UK76. Bridget Donahue will present this singular work in the form in which Burgin’s works of the 1960s and ’70s were originally shown: with the images pasted directly to the wall and scraped off at the end of the exhibition.
Burgin’s eleven large, black-and-white, photographic prints (each 40 x 60 inches) were originally commissioned by the National Community Development Project and Coventry workshop. Burgin added short, poetically fictive text over the photographs, in a revolutionary pairing of documentary-style photography and mass media ad copy. UK76 offers a snapshot of the state of British society in the 1970s that foreshadows the UK’s recent historical decision to leave the European Union – a product of popular disaffection with the status quo not without echoes in the US today. The exhibition runs concurrent with Victor Burgin’s solo exhibition Midwest September 8 – October 22, 2016 at Cristin Tierney, 540 W 28th Street, New York which features Burgin’s digital projections from 2015, and to Victor Burgin: Then and Now from September 13 to November 6, 2016 at the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Victor Burgin (b. 1941, Sheffield, UK) first came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the originators of Conceptual Art. His work appeared in such key exhibitions as Harald Szeemann’s Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (1969) at the ICA London, and Kynaston McShine’s Information (1970) at MoMA, New York. He has since remained one of the most consistently influential artists and art theorists of his generation.
Burgin graduated from the School of Painting at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1965, where he was introduced to philosophy by Iris Murdoch. He then went on to study Philosophy and Fine Art at Yale University School of Art and Architecture. Burgin has said he is interested in the ‘camera image’ rather than ‘photography’ as such, which he sees as a contingent historical stage in the history of Western perspectival representation. In his digital projection works of the past five years he has worked exclusively with virtual cameras in the space of 3D computer modeling (the most recent implementation of perspective). His primary concern however remains what it was at the time of UK76: the primacy of the image – simultaneously optical, textual, and psychological – in our recreation of the real.
Burgin, who currently lives and works in Gascony and Paris, is Professor Emeritus of History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Emeritus Millard Chair of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London. During 2015 he has been a Mellon Fellow and Visiting Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, where he produced a new work “Prairie” for the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The most recent major retrospective of his work was held at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Germany, in 2014.