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The Monaco Project for the Arts presents Gavin Turk – GT (The Project 2013) - Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques de la Ville de Monaco

6 July - 1 September 2013
Gallery: Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques de la Ville de Monaco

The Monaco Project for the Arts is please to present GT, a solo exhibition by Gavin Turk.

Situated within the Pavillon Bosio of the Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Plastique de la Ville de Monaco, and responding to Monte Carlo’s tradition of Grand Prix, Turk’s GT is a platform for futurology, converting cultural exhaustion to a forward thrust propellant. Infiltrating the Riviera’s glamour with his British punk ethos, Turk presents a body of new works including sculptures, screen prints, and a performance of production-by-proxy made in collaboration with students from Monaco’s leading art school.

Central to the exhibition is Turk’s new sculpture, Pipe, a hyper-realistically finished bronze cast of a transit van exhaust pipe: a hallowed relic of England’s fading working class, corroded artefact of modern technology, a doppelganger of avant-garde abstraction. Enshrined in a vitrine, it subsumes Beuys’ pedagogy and altruism; a pseudo spiritual totem of Turk’s own-brand conceptualism, where originality is the by-product of depletion.

Since the 1990s, identity, authorship, and artist-mythology have become Turk’s signature methodology. His name and image are brandished as trademarks of piracy, as he subtly steals the identities of art history’s heroes, merging their legacies into his own. Replete with functional garden hose and humorous steaming head, Turk’s bronze cast Self Portrait (Fountain) poses as an homage to Alighiero Boetti’s My Mind Is Burning (which is a tribute to Bruce Nauman’s Fountain); the lineage of idea and form amended and progressed, a masterpiece in continuum, less ‘appropriated’ than ‘occupied’ by Turk’s reproduction.

The concept of artist-as-role-play runs throughout Turk’s practice – his aesthetics and personas are not merely borrowed, but re-enacted in full. In Turk’s recent Transit Disaster silk-screens, it’s not only Warhol’s processes and aesthetics that are hijacked, but also the subject matter of his Car Crash series. Framed within the tropes of ultra-pop spectacle, Warhol’s famous emblems of American horror are supplanted by Turk’s images, fuelled by UK tabloid hysteria: burnt out transit vans and muscle cars, hoodies and hooligans – ‘broken Britain’s’ disenfranchised and underclass, equally endangered and threatening – anointed in toxic auras.

Turk’s Small Nail, which stands man-high, operates as a vacant portrait. Driven into the ground as a landmark or declaration, it is the very armature for art (seemingly placed by the divine force of a Creator). It functions as an open manifesto of art’s endowment and potential – Turk’s own authentic gesture inviting public response. It’s this ethos – propagating entitlement over history, the power of individual action – which drives Turk’s collaboration with Monaco’s young artists. Turk invited each student to design their own logo identity, and contribute to his show by adding their own artistic signatures. Exhibited alongside Turk’s idiosyncratic appropriations – as both co-authors and a performative franchise – are the next-generation of cultural visionaries, Turk’s co-opted art of the future.

Press Releases

  • GT - Monaco Project for the Arts
    May 13, 2013
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