27 May 2011 – 25 Jun 2011

Stuart Shave / Modern Art

London, United Kingdom


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Stuart Shave/Modern Art is delighted to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Linder. This will be Linder's second solo exhibition with Modern Art and her first solo show in London for four years. Since the mid-1970s, Linder has explored the terrain of socially and culturally reinforced norms and expectations of gender identity, sexual commodification and represented desire. Linder's early career was forged in the punk and post-punk scenes of Manchester in the 1970s, where her influence and involvement in these circles manifested itself broadly in music, performance, publishing and art making. Her position has consistently and uncompromisingly embraced radical feminist perspectives rethinking the cultural treatment of the female body in particular. In the collages, photomontages and performances Linder has made since this time, she sets about recasting and colliding the ideals of commercially and culturally rendered expectations of gender-specificity and identity. Over the past three and a half decades, Linder has used and explored the medium of collage as a powerful vehicle with which to critically reveal and splice together elements from the fabric of images representing a common social narrative. One of Linder's iconic visual works is the collage used as cover art for the Buzzcocks 1977 single ‘Orgasm Addict': a naked woman with an iron for a head and smiling mouths for nipples. Using source material drawn from magazines which were at the time overwhelmingly devoted to cars, DIY and porn for men, and those for women to fashion and housekeeping, Linder's gesture proffers a synthesis of the peculiar worlds of gender-specific interests — abruptly merging and confusing a shared attention to the female body as an intensely commodified commonality. While the radical gesture of this aggressive collision captures a precise political and cultural moment from our recent history, its sympathy follows a lineage through to an ever-present climate of enriched, entrenched and pervasive commercial exploitation of sex and gender. This show at Modern Art presents an expansive body of new collages by Linder: image making that is both critical and seductive. Linder exhibits manual collage and concrete manipulation of found images as intimately scaled physical works and lavishly printed lightbox transparencies. These new collages draw their subject matter from the pages of contemporary pornographic and domestic magazines in a working method that sees pornography and food-photography as analogues for one other; exploring the creation and sating of desires which stem from monstrous cultural hypertrophies of base biological drives. Linder's compositions evidence a conscious, acute awareness of the latent seduction that her collages critique and convey. Linder has traced an evolution of pornography's popular forms, along with its architectures and social demographics. Her early ‘Pretty Girls' series of 1977 takes magazines of the 1960s — mid-1970s that show models awkwardly posed on cocktail cabinets and inhabiting sparse, makeshift interiors. The contemporary sense of the demise of printed magazines heightens the timeliness and charge of Linder's gesture, as her periods of making fortuitously span the gradual rise and steady decline of this kind of pornographic material. The content of print media now available offers a powerful range of source material: as niche topics dwindle and drop-out of print, those that can and do survive show themselves up as increasingly mainstream symptoms of the cultural values Linder subjects to critical gaze. Linder's recent appropriations of erotica have paid attention to material of our contemporary moment, leading her to explore the territory of hardcore pornography and the commercialised hyper-reality of its own particular aesthetics and values.


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