Exhibitions2013GT (The Project 2013)

GT (The Project 2013)

6 Jul 13

Presented by The Monaco Project

Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques de la Ville de Monaco

This solo show by Gavin Turk was presented by The Monaco Project for the Arts within the Pavillon Bosio of the Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Plastique de la Ville de Monaco.

Responding to Monte Carlo’s tradition of Grand Prix, Turk’s GT was a platform for futurology, converting cultural exhaustion to a forward thrust propellant. Infiltrating the Riviera’s glamour with his British punk ethos, Turk presented sculptures, screen prints, and a performance of production-by-proxy made in collaboration with students from Monaco’s leading art school.

Central to the exhibition is Turk’s new sculpture, Pipe, a hyper-realistically finished bronze cast of a transit van exhaust pipe: a hallowed relic of England’s fading working class, corroded artefact of modern technology, a doppelganger of avant-garde abstraction. Enshrined in a vitrine, it subsumes Beuys’ pedagogy and altruism; a pseudo spiritual totem of Turk’s own-brand conceptualism, where originality is the by-product of depletion.

Replete with functional garden hose and humorous steaming head, Turk’s bronze cast Self Portrait (Fountain) poses as an homage to Alighiero Boetti’s My Mind Is Burning; the lineage of idea and form amended and progressed, a masterpiece in continuum, less ‘appropriated’ than ‘occupied’ by Turk’s reproduction.

Also shown were Turk’s Transit Disaster silk-screens, hijacking not only Warhol’s process and aesthetics, but also the subject matter of his Car Crash series. Warhol’s famous emblems of American horror are supplanted by Turk’s images, fuelled by UK tabloid hysteria: burnt out transit vans and muscle cars, hoodies and hooligans – ‘broken Britain’s’ disenfranchised and underclass, equally endangered and threatening – anointed in toxic auras.

Turk’s Small Nail, which stands man-high, operated as a vacant portrait. Driven into the ground as a landmark or declaration, it is the very armature for art (seemingly placed by the divine force of a Creator). It represented an open manifesto of art’s endowment and potential – Turk’s own authentic gesture inviting public response.

Collaborating with Monaco’s young artists, Turk invited each student to design their own logo identity, and contribute to his show by adding their own artistic signatures. Exhibited alongside Turk’s idiosyncratic appropriations – as both co-authors and a performative franchise – were a new generation of cultural visionaries, Turk’s co-opted art of the future.