Stuart Brisley: Recent Paintings from the Museum of Ordure
Statement for Lungley Gallery
This exhibition is comprised of four recent works.
Works on paper:
One and two: These show the head of State, Queen Elizabeth II. One is a painting, the other is a painting and a drawing.
Three: A drawing of multiple heads with disfiguring grimaces.
Painting on canvas:
This painting materially utilises the paints used in the other paintings on paper.
The connecting image in the works on paper is that of capturing the Head of State by the paparazzi in private moments inside a vehicle. Privacy implies a state of being concealed which the actions of the paparazzi exposes. The image is then forged and monetised.
In the first painting the Monarch inside her car appears to be surprised at such an imposition.
In the second painting and drawing she is similarly caught but this time in an 18th Century carriage taking her to and from the Houses of Parliament with the calculation of exposure.
In these images colours have been altered by using the cheap reproduction process of photocopying. By copying and altering the newspaper print the image is further veiled revealing the technical process thus distancing its relationship to the original source which had previously gone through another transcription in order to be printed in a newspaper.
The drawing of the heads was made to be a thing in itself. However, when searching for works to complete the exhibition it was viewed as a critical contribution.
The final work is a materialist painting of the surface of foam boards used as substitutes for conventional palettes to make the other paintings in the show. I have reproduced the palettes as exactly as I can, hence it's materiality. The surrounding marks are made from the residues of the remains of paint.
Curiously enough, during the process of painting, the ghost of a subject emerged and refused to die, with a topical value, namely the current virus.
4 September 2020
The Museum of Ordure is a speculation on the roles and dichotomies of the museum where the contradictions of the civilising processes are in the context of the real politique. Its aim is to reveal an underbelly where the collective unconscious breaks out into the world. It follows the traditions of exposure from the middle ages through to the present day. Naturally enough it is itself an element of the conditions it examines.
R Y Sirb is the curator and acting director of the Museum.
Stuart Brisley’s book Beyond Reason : Ordure was published in 2003 by Bookworks.
A new book titled The Stuart Brisley Interviews: Performance and its afterlives published this year by Bookworks is available to pre-order now.