McKenzie, Dougal (2010) ‘A Visit to Bad EM’s’ (2008) and ‘A Visit to Belleville’ (2009)

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    The works connect narrative painting to historiography, within the wider context of contemporary Fine Art practice interrogating the subject of history. I position the works as contemporary visual research in the face of proliferating internet and digital information; image sources are drawn from this, and my own personal archive, then manipulated digitally in preparation for the paintings. Layers of contemporary and historical references form new representations, questioning the veracity of historical narratives. The paintings can therefore be read as part documentary and part fiction, filtered through a digital and collaged process of transformation.‘Bad E.M.’s’ references the life of 19th century French painter Edouard Manet. Here, a group of time-travelling, leftist intellectuals (adapted from a Google image from a Woody Allen film) visit his apartment during the Siege of Paris. Bad Ems was the town where discussions had taken place to avert the Franco-Prussian War, also standing for Manet’s initials and his reputation for controversy. ‘Belleville’ also imagines a time-travelling figure, once exiled and now returning to a location of conflict. In this work, the old entrance to Bellevue Zoo in Belfast is transformed into Belleville on the hills of Paris (the final stronghold of the Communards). The paintings were exhibited in ‘Layers: The John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize Retrospective’ in South Korea (curators: Eunice Eunbok Yu and Jay Jeongae Im of I-MYU Projects, London). Introducing a Korean audience to recent contemporary British painting, 26 artists were selected from previous prize winners at the John Moores Exhibition in Liverpool (I was selected as a 2004 prize winner) and invited to exhibit new work. My works were included in the Narrative section of the exhibition, along with artists such as David Hockney and Lisa Milroy. A bi-lingual publication in English and Korean accompanied the exhibition, in which the works were reproduced.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationThe Third Space Gallery, Belfast
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 6 Aug 2010
    EventLayers: Retrospective John Moores Painting Prize Show - Cube Gallery, Seongnam Arts Centre / Seongnam, South Korea
    Duration: 6 Aug 201014 Oct 2010

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    Outputmediatype: Paintings


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