For the exhibition Brian Reed has created new works from his photographic series of appropriated found images and the ongoing signage pieces. A formidable sense of the end of history permeates the works, the destruction of the world as foretold by many religions. As the burgeoning population continues unchecked and global resources become limited, the increase of in-fighting leads to a self-furfilling prophecy.
His large scale signage work Ideology Converter is embedded with the vernacular of doublespeak, borrowed from the political and corporate spheres. As in previous work the statements are deliberately infused with ambiguous content and meaning. With this black on black text piece a topographical space is created a space where the words become both a visual and verbal experience. This piece is at once both an apparatus of power, instructing individuals on their conduct and communication, and a memorial to the persuasion of belief systems and their implication.
The end of days or the ultimate destiny of humanity comes to the fore in Disrupted Command, a work comprising of seven individual images of nuclear explosions from different periods in the history of the atomic bomb. The seven images reflect the seven seals from the Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible. The sublime beauty of the explosion, the combination of the grotesque and beautiful, is disrupted by the slicing of the image, a jarring or shifting of a reality forces the focus back to the subject; that of the totality of the man-made destruction.
An oversized portrait shows a male - his face obscured by a blot of brown paint - is a scaled reproduction of a found passport photograph. The mark applied by person unknown¬ is conceptually ambiguous. Does this reflect a defacing made in anger or hatred? Soiled by a rejected friend or lover? This work and others in the Do Not Become What You See series question our ideas about identity and loss.
When Reason Stops is a small photographic piece. In it, spots of sunlight stream through a canopy of trees focusing on an area of undergrowth. It is a quiet reflective piece on hope and renewal, taken by the artist at the peaceful wooded park that is the location of the destroyed Jewish Cemetery at Gedenkstätte Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin.
Brian Reed lives and works in London. He has works in various private collections.
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