Exhibitions2009Turkey Foil

Turkey Foil

12 Sep 09

Aurel Scheibler Gallery

In September of 2009 Aurel Scheibler Gallery presented Turkey Foil, a solo exhibition by Gavin Turk that explored the themes of invention and originality, of authorship and authenticity.

Citing the great gestures of the ‘stars’ of art history, Turk appropriates iconic works, repeating and thereby heightening their effects. Serving up his own blend of art from the scenes of art history, he has continually reinvented himself as an artist throughout his career. Well-known works of art are adopted and their meanings altered; appearance and reality are called into question.

In his title artwork Turkey Foil, Gavin Turk used silkscreen on wood to construct his own brand cult and robbed Duchamp’s ready-mades of their foundation. What appeared to be prefabricated, found objects taken from everyday life—a discarded apple core, an old sleeping bag, and a burnt-out campfire—were revealed to be intricately produced and painted bronze sculptures. In this way Turk demonstrated how incessant reproduction had bled the original anarchistic content from Dadism, which now functions as an accepted code.

Jean Baudrillard’s nightmare scenario of (anti-)media theory in the 1970s was celebrated by in the exhibition: mass media’s creation of a hyper-reality that only works in simulation and simulacrum. By positioning the observer in its midst, Turk was able to demystify this scenario. Mystification, fetishisation, star cult, recycling, and duplication confronted audiences a dense and deliberate way, with artworks referring back to their own lack of substance.