Stuart Brisley

16 October - 30 November 2013

Andrew Mummery is pleased to announce the opening of the second of Stuart Brisley's two concurrent solo exhibitions in London this Autumn. The exhibitions, at Domobaal and Mummery + Schnelle, will continue until 30 November.

12 Days. 1975. Four from a set of twenty unique gelatin prints. 89 x 64 cm.
Photographs by Leslie Haslam.

Brisley's exhibition at Mummery + Schnelle will consist of two parts. The first is a set of twenty photographs made as part of a performance work entitled 12 Days that was created at the Kunstforum in Rottweil in Germany in 1975. Over a period of twelve days Brisley built, and made a series of interactions with, a box-like structure that reflected the limits of his own body. It came to resemble a kind of cage, as if he were making his own prison. The final act of the performance was for Brisley to break this structure apart. The structure was built in private, but Brisley’s interactions with it were carried out in front of an audience. A concern with measuring a space in which things are done using the human body as the measurement unit and device, and the relationship of the performed actions to the presence of the audience, are key components in Brisley’s work. 12 Days is an important example of a performance from the 1970s in which these issues were worked through and explored. The photographs in the exhibition at Mummery + Schnelle should be seen as an integral part of the original work, not merely as documentation of it. They contribute to and reinforce the social and artistic experience that was generated. Brisley has called them visual restructuring and a form of creating news. The views from which they were taken, and the episodes that they recorded, were carefully chosen. The photographs were taken by Leslie Haslam, who also helped Brisley build the structure used in the performance.

The Missing Text, Interregnum 3 (6 May-12 May 2010). 2013. Oil on linen. 135 x 196cm.

The second part of the exhibition is a suite of three paintings made between 2011 and 2013 which complete a work entitled The Missing Text. This began at the PEER art space in London in May 2010. Brisley took up temporary residence, as his alter ego R Y Sirb the curator of ordure, over a ten-day period in an abandoned shop that PEER was about to take over as an extension to it’s exhibition space. The shop was discovered to be full of the detritus of three failed businesses, which reminded Brisley of the Conservative Party’s “Broken Britain” 2010 general election slogan. The period of Brisley’s residence and actions at Peer coincided with the negotiations to form a coalition government after that general election, and the implications and consequences of these run as a kind of leitmotif through the work as a whole. The title, The Missing Text, refers to the unspoken subject of the work, the elephant in the room: the British monarchy. The Missing Text consists of a diary written at the time of the original actions, a set of photographs of those actions, a film, and the three new paintings. The paintings are variants based on the photographs and were made consecutively showing influences from one to another. They replicate some of the procedures of the ten-day action – the piling together the detritus of the empty shop into a colossal heap - by taking images from different photographs and forcing them together into ill-fitting relationships. The use of detritus and the discarded objects of human activity has been a characteristic of Brisley’s work over the years. For him they are the residue of outmoded operations and institutions and he uses them as symbols of these.

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Stuart Brisley

Jyll Bradley &
Stuart Brisley


Selected Works


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