David Austen: End of Love

11 Dec 2010 – 20 Feb 2011

Modern Art Oxford

Oxford, United Kingdom


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David Austen's practice encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture, and more recently film and shows an unceasing fascination with people, through myriad observations of thoughts, actions and relationships, reaching from the tender to the absurd. Austen's ambitious new film, End of Love, created for his Stanley Picker Fellowship, occupies our Project Space. Set on the stage of an empty London theatre, End of Love shows twelve characters who are vulnerable and alienated; they expose themselves as suffering figures, all are hurt, lost or broken and their performances resonate with a directness and rawness that typifies Austen's practice. Referencing theatre, literature, expanded cinema and performance as well as the artist's personal practice, End of Love is a poetic expression of love's elusiveness, the non-linearity of time, and fleeting facets of personal memory. Austen's exhibition extends into The Yard, with the evocatively titled Smoke Town. Giant billboards present images and short enigmatic texts, illuminated by a series of spectacular hanging lights, transforming The Yard into a space suggestive of an other-worldly station platform or the threshold to a theatre.

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