STUART BRISLEY, Prenzlauerberg, 1990

Prenzlauerberg, 1990


Stuart Brisley: Photographs
Gallery 2

44a Charlotte Road

6–28 March 2013

Stuart Brisley’s work moves between art contexts and social ones. It is addressed to the politics of consumption, class relations and authority. Brisley is best known as a key figure in British performance art, but what deserves to be better recognized is the importance of painting, photography and drawing to his practice, and how his work in these media contribute to a more wide ranging debate about what performance means. At Mummery + Schnelle in March Brisley will be exhibiting seven photographs taken between 1989 and 1991 in and around Brick Lane in East London, and in Berlin. These have been selected from a much larger body of work that the artist has called the Georgiana Collection. This began as an attempt to address the question “What is Community”. The photographs are of places and things states of transition. They depict spaces of display and exchange, and objects symbolic of displacement.

Brisley’s photographs seem particularly apt for the opening exhibition of the new space of a commercial gallery. The market in Brick Lane, as understood by Brisley, is an institution dominated by the habit of inspection and the rite of exchange – a bit like a gallery. Market and gallery are paradoxical spaces located both on the edge of capitalism (Brick Lane and Mummery + Schnelle are on the borders of the City of London) and at its very heart (the sale of commodities occurs within them). They are within a system while claiming a kind of autonomy from it. For the gallery, this is the autonomy to present ways of seeing and thinking differently.