Exhibitions2009The Mirror Stage

The Mirror Stage

19 Dec 09

Goodman Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa)

In 2009, Goodman Gallery Cape Town presented The Mirror Stage, Turk’s first solo exhibition in South Africa. For the show Turk created an installation based on Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory’, the artist's infamous original New York City studio, which Warhol occupied from 1962 until 1968. 

The gallery walls were wallpapered with silver foil as a visual game with reflection and disorientation, against which a selection of Turk’s paintings, silkscreens and sculptural pieces were shown. The title of the show referred to Lacanian ideas about child development and the emergence of self-consciousness. Displayed works included the signature works Your Authorised Reflection and Erutangis (signature backwards), complementary riffs on this Narcissus theme.

Continuing the Warholian reference, the show included a series of large silkscreen portraits of the artist as Che Guevara, Joseph Beuys and Elvis Presley amongst others, as well as works based on Warhol’s urine oxidation paintings – abstract works made by pissing on copper metallic painted canvas.

Turk takes a Gestalt approach to cliché and iconic imagery, subverting our sense of what we think we are seeing with echoes of familiar characters who pervade our cultural consciousness like annoying déjà vu, or pop tunes running repetitively through our minds. Elvis, Beuys, and Che Guevara are all iconic figures – heroes, consumed by the system and now the art.