From the 1st-11th of February my work will be a part of Leyden Gallery's 13th Platform for Emerging Arts. The Leyden Gallery is fast building a distinct reputation as a vibrant and forward-thinking London gallery that shows work by both new and established artists. With previous shows featuring Paula Rego, Antony Micallef, Henry Moore, and Wilhelmina Barns- Graham.
The Platform shows are intended as a means of allowing new and emerging artists to be introduced to the art world. For this exhibition I will be showing three works, the centrepiece will be a large aluminium backed C-type print of a piece called Interzone, made in Tangier, Morocco. I will also be displaying a moving image piece made during my recent residency at Largo das Artes in Rio de Janeiro and a reworking of an older set of images made in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Interzone was made during the first of three trips I have made to Morocco over the last few years. The piece, made in March 2015 is a homage to the late William Burroughs, a groundbreaking author and prominent member of the Beat Generation. Among his innovations were his cut up texts, the cut up technique, pioneered by Tristan Tzara was stumbled upon by Burroughs and Brion Gysin while residing at 9 Rue Gît-le-Cœur, Paris, nicknamed the Beat Hotel.
The discovery played a prominent role in Burroughs work, particularly his Nova Trilogy which included ‘The Soft Machine’, ‘The Ticket That Exploded’ and ‘Nova Express’. Tangier is a city steeped in counter culture myth and resonates with a sordid history. From 1924-1956 Tangier was known as the International Zone, a combination of Morocco’s instability and it’s key geographical positioning as a gateway between Europe and Africa meant that a range of European countries had a financial and tactical interest.
During this time Tangier was home to the rich, to spies, exiles and an array of influential writers including Jean Genet, Paul Bowles and William Burroughs who’s seminal work Naked Lunch was written here. In his novel Burroughs referred to the International Zone as Interzone. I first got hold of a William Burroughs novel while on a scholarship at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, during the second year of my undergraduate studies. The book was called the Western Lands, a later novel and one of my favourite of his works.
From there I went on to read and study Burroughs prolific body of work and experiment with the techniques he used to produce them. I spent my final year exploring text, I used techniques such as stream of consciousness, dream material, plagiarism, dialogues and cut up techniques. The outcome was a book of texts exploring language itself, looking at and manipulating it’s structures and margins, breaking it’s rules.
Some time after this discovery I realised the potential of applying these techniques to my photographic work, which at the time I had become disenchanted with. This happened back in 2009, just before I started my Postgraduate study and since this time I have been refining the process and building a body of work.