M A T H E W P A R K I N
8 April – 15 May 2016
I believe in you is an exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Mathew Parkin. It marks the first time he has focused on film work, used here as an anchor from which to question the role of the spaces in which art is conventionally made visible.
At the heart of the exhibition a film follows a pilgrimage to see an exhibition by the artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The work combines webcam and iPhone footage into a layered diaristic exploration of intimacy and a sincere attempt to articulate a personal language of identity and desire. Surrounding this central work, a series of sporadic interventions and rituals alter experiences of the exhibition over time. Parkin intervenes in the daily running of the gallery to make its staff renegotiate the speed at which they work; tea and coffee are offered to visitors; the gallery becomes a floor for dancing. Such interventions seek to address the rituals and interplay between artists, galleries and audiences and to encourage a social experience of the exhibition, in which visitors are users rather than spectators.
Parkin’s creative practice is an ecological activity that responds rigorously and critically to the circumstances of exhibition-making. He is interested in how we might articulate the nature of contemporary art galleries as organisations of care, and ways in which the exhibitions housed within them both overlap with and sit apart from their structure and identity. For I believe in you Parkin turns IMT Gallery into an uncertain, multifunctional space; a space grounded in art yet also seeking some other functionality triggered by the creative, speculative enquiry of the artists and visitors that use it.
Mathew Parkin (b. 1987, Wakefield, UK). Recent projects include Film Open touring, Spike Island, Bristol, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, Transmission, Glasgow, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, S1 Artspace, Sheffield and the ICA, London (2015); Eastside Projects, Birmingham, Sunscreen, part of The Leisure Principle, EM15, Nottingham, Venice and Online (2015); Group Occupation Residency, New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall (2015); Bar Commission for Vogue party, One Thoresby Street, Nottingham (2015); £1 Fish, S1 Artspace, Sheffield (2014); Commissioned text for Too Much, Two Queens, Leicester (2014); Still Wearing Each Other When Alone, Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2014); 45683968, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Leeds (2014); Power Up, SALT+POWELL York (2014); but it could be a Levi’s advert, Flatfile, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2014); One Touch, The Telfer Gallery, Glasgow (2013); Performance Fetish, SWG3, Glasgow (2013); LAN Party, Two Queens, Leicester (2013); When Passive Aggressive Strategies Fail to Get Results, Supercollider, Blackpool (2012); HELD, Liverpool Biennial (2012); Oliver Braid: You’ll Get Used To It, Tramway, Glasgow (2012); and Dovble Trovble, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2012). Parkin lives and works in Leeds, UK.