David Blandy & Saskia Holmkvist
REPRESENT brings together two emerging artists, David Blandy and Saskia Holmkvist, whose medium-reflexive approaches for producing artworks scrutinise systems of contemporary cultural representation. The exhibition will look predominantly at their compelling use of video as a means to investigate the mechanisms through which understanding and cultural identities are formed. REPRESENT will be a unique and exciting play-off between Blandy's and Holmkvist's individual projects. It will include new works by both artists which examine personal and wider public representations and personas.
Blandy documents performative acts, often in which the artist is seen miming to well-known film scenes or pop records. Blandy carefully selects songs and scenes which, through his performance, he uses to unravel their inherent cultural stereotypes. These clever plays highlight the extent to which our sense of self may be formed through popular media. Holmkvist's works investigate the authenticity of sources of knowledge-production, such as the medium of documentary reportage, in order to reveal how such an authoritative means for common understanding can be manipulated. Holmkvist also analyses the means used by visual arts institutions for marketing and PR, to expose the strategies underlying their public identities. She is working with Gasworks on a project exploring its own means of communicating with the wider public. Usually based in Stockholm, Holmkvist is currently participating in Gasworks' international residency programme in order to develop a more engaged exhibition project. Blandy recently spent two months in Rosario, Argentina, organised by Gasworks, as part of Arts Council England's International Artists Fellowship programme. The programme enables UK-based artists to engage with artists from other cultures and disciplines as a means to develop their practice.
David Blandy’s recent group exhibitions include Projekt Migration, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2005; The Mind is a Horse (Part II), Bloomberg Space, London; New Contemporaries 2004, Barbican, London, 2004; Ethnic Marketing, Centre d’art Contemporain, Geneva, 2004 and Romantic Detachment, PS1, New York and touring, 2004. Blandy is supported by and Artsadmin Live Arts Bursary.
Saskia Holmkvist recently had a solo presentation of her works at IASPIS, Stockholm, and has participated in the exhibitions Narrow focus, Tranzit workshop, Bratislava, 2005; and Greyscale/CMYK, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, 2003. Holmkvist has work in the collection of the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and is currently in their major exhibition Modernautställningen 2006 (Moderna Exhibition 2006).