The show brings together two artists from different generations who are both concerned with issues that examine the taxonomy of territory. Often using examples close to their homes or places of origin, Brisley and Hulusi separately explore the significance of abandonment and decay in ways that poignantly portray urban deterioration. Their works speak as metaphors for political and human decay and the final impossibility of ownership.
Occupation brings together two artists from different generations who are both concerned with issues that examine the taxonomy of territory. Often using examples close to their homes or places of origin, Brisley and Hulusi separately explore the significance of abandonment and decay in ways that poignantly portray urban deterioration, through conflict, occupation and the irresponsible exercise of power. Their works speak as metaphors for political and human decay and the final impossibility of ownership. Given that life is time-based, everything we own, indeed everything we see, in time dissolves away as we ourselves leave the scene. Every acquisition eventually loses its owner. Whether as individuals in a given moment or as civilisations spanning periods, ultimately the ideologies and endeavours of all human activity are destined to share the same fate as a bunch of flowers.
Stuart Brisley established his reputation with performance and a series of seminal installations throughout the 70s and 80s that dealt with the state of the individual in relationship to political reality. He is an artist who has consistently tested the boundaries of art and throughout his career has always made photographs, texts, drawings and paintings. Among the works on show are some from The Georgiana Collection, a series of black and white images taken near to where Brisley was living in North London. It represents a collection that already existed as it focuses on used and abandoned objects in a street adjacent to a hostel for the homeless. Brisley?s photograph and text work Dechaumage, 2004 shows driftwood washed up on the shore of Little Cumberland Island on the Georgia/Florida border, the point where the last slave ship began its journey from America. Other recent works include oil on board and canvas still life paintings, painted meticulously over a long period of time. O, 2000 features a black hole overwhelming a bunch of dying flowers. It depicts the abandonment of biological living for the chemical processes that will eventually dissolve them away.
Mustafa Hulusi presents recent and previously unseen works. Since graduating from the RCA and masterminding the Expander show at the Burlington Gardens last year, Hulusi has been developing a new body of photographically based work that includes his current project Varosha/Maras, 2005. A slide projected work, it shows a sequence of images of a ghost town in Cyprus, alongside a still image of a naked girl sitting on the beach, seemingly watching the town unfold. Empty beaches, perimeter fences, bombed out buildings and unfinished hotels portray this landscape abandoned in 1974. Cordoned off by the mainland Turkish Army, the site was kept back as a final bargaining tool in the war over the division of the island with the Greek Cypriots. Located on the prime tourist area of the island, unlike its neighbours the town has never fulfilled its promise as a leisure paradise. Frozen, it has become a symbol of the unsettled dispute. Struggling between the escapist dream of somewhere perfect and political and economic reality, the piece questions the machinations that can underpin the leisure industry. Salamis Women, 2004 show a series of statues dating from the Roman times. Four finely dressed females that had their heads removed and taken by the British during their colonial rule. They demonstrate the plunder of culture that often accompanies occupation.
Brisley and Hulusi are not photographers, they are artists who use photography. Their use of photography is not simply descriptive or documentary. It utilises the medium to express their position in relation to the metaphorical potential of their subjects.
First presented at the Zoo Art Fair, The great Unsigned is an agency for unsigned artists. It hopes to find and create platforms for its selected artists to be seen by gallerists, curators and collectors. The agencyâ€™s policy is to make a no strings short-term commitment to these artists, after which all parties are free to go their separate ways.
For further information please contact David Thorp: 07990556628 or Soraya Rodriguez; 07956623123
Private View: Thurs 3 March 2005, 6.30-8.30 pm
at Waugh Thistleton
47 Great Eastern Street
London EC2A 3HP
Exhibition continues 12-5pm Fri 4-Sun 6 March