You always have to think about materials and objects in terms of being malleable – you have to cut them off from what their established use is, to directly interfere with their world-ness. It becomes a process of human empowerment to re-use and re-propose the power of objects simply left lying in the street. Roger Hiorns
Through the transformation of materials and found objects, Roger Hiorns (b. Birmingham 1975) focuses on various aspects of modern life, closely analysing what is assumed or taken for granted. His works involve foaming assemblages of manufactured machine parts, paintings made from brain matter – an exploration of the origins of the disease vCJD – jet engines containing anti depressant drugs and naked young men both painted and in the flesh. Hiorns has recently made canvases covered with copper sulphate. Delicate works of art, untouched by him, they are at once beautiful and problematising. There is a kind of instability embodied in them that epitomises his artistic practice as a whole.
The exhibition also includes a new video work documenting Untitled (a retrospective view of the pathway), an off-site project produced by Ikon in June 2016. It features choristers of St Philip’s Cathedral Birmingham singing Evensong whilst lying on their backs on the floor of the nave, rather than standing to sing in stalls in front of the altar. A re-imagining of an ancient ritual, atomising a rigid formation, it exemplifies a restlessness with respect to a revered institution, part of an establishment that defines our society.
This exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with essay by Ruth Noack – available from Ikon Shop.
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Ikon is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and Birmingham City Council.
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