Fantasy and Denial

26 Jul 2008 – 31 Aug 2008


Cardiff, United Kingdom


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To mark its 30th anniversary, Ffotogallery are presenting two exhibitions which celebrate commissioned work made in and about Wales during the last three decades. The selection reflects many distinctive and wide-ranging responses to a variety of circumstances during a period of dramatic social and economic change. Highlights from group commissions including The Valleys Project, A470 and Barrage, figure alongside work made as part of one-person projects including Keith Arnatt, Catherine Yass and Bedwyr Williams. Such projects speak of the national imagination, local and global politics, romanticism, travel and tourism, industrial decay, encounters between the rural and the urban, the centre and the periphery. A number of these commissions, and the photographic work that emerged, provide alternative accounts of Wales and the state of visual culture that retain a contemporary relevance. Drawn from the Ffotogallery archive, national and private collections, works from these exhibitions provide a unique opportunity to revisit imagery that has been influential in providing commentaries on the experience and picturing of place. Following on from Part one - I Hate Green (14 June - 20 July 2008), Part two - Fantasy & Denial draws its title from commissioned work by Willie Doherty depicting the facades of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and the Welsh Office in Cardiff (1990). This exhibition considers commissions that have explored the complex relationships between institutions, communities and individual lives. These two exhibitions offer a fascinating overview of the how certain artists have engaged with the specific characteristics of a locality but also connect with the ideas and imagery that crosses geographical boundaries. They also reflect some of the shifts in photography during the last three decades that have made the medium a vital and dynamic force in contemporary art and culture. The following photographers and artists will be represented in the two exhibitions: Keith Arnatt, David Bailey, Mike Berry, Ian Breakwell, Rut Blees Luxemburg, John Davies, Haydn Denman, Willie Doherty, Peter Finnemore, Peter Fraser, Thomas Kellner, Josef Koudelka, Clive Landen, Raffaela Mariniello, Ron McCormick, Calum Angus, MacKay, Ray Moore, Martina Mullaney, Francessca Odell, Richard Powell, Paul Reas, Pentti Sammallahti, Michelle Sank, Bedwyr Williams and Catherine Yass. Curated by Russell Roberts, Senior Research Fellow in Photography, Ffotogallery and University of Wales, Newport. Ffotogallery works in association with the University of Wales, Newport and support from Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and National Library of Wales. In realising a number of these commissions we are grateful to the following: Magnum photos, Matts gallery and Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London and Galleria Milan. Rut Blees Luxemburg's Folly was originated and commissioned by the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea in collaboration with Ffotogallery.

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