Mark Jenkins' new monograph The Urban Theater will be released next week through renowned art book publishers Gestalten. To coincide with the release of this 160-page hardcover, full colour edition, Mark will be exhibiting several of his thought-provoking sculptures in an exhibition titled Glazed Paradise at the Berlin-based publishers house.
Mark Jenkins' absurdist sculptures are always witty and mostly appealing. But, inevitably, they prompt uncomfortable and nauseating questions human beings would really rather not deal with. How can we be sensitive and playful yet so ruthlessly concerned with our own urges? Are tramps horrible, sad or funny? And indeed what the hell shall we do, as time goes on, with all our bullshit? Yet alone all those useless, old, and unattractive people who seem to grow in number by the day?
Mark Jenkins' sculptures might look cute, but they have issues. Of his "Storker" baby sculptures, placed around the landscape of his native Washington DC, Mark wrote "if by passing one you feel strange sensations in your nipples or fingertips, adopt the infant, breast feed, and give it plenty of TLC. It will gradually mature into a full size Tape Man or Woman to co-habitate with you and eventually take you to the Glazed Paradise – or possibly oust you from your home."
Equally black comedy are Jenkins' adult-sized "dummies" (his description) of vagrant body parts in impossible and violent situations. All the pieces pounce with the benefit of surprise. "There's so much rubbish on the streets already that the pieces I put up are camouflaged and ambiguous. The vagrant dummies too; like real homeless people they're so much part of the urban landscape that you're desensitised to the sight of them" says Mark.
The artist uses his own hand-me-downs on the "Homeless Dummies", and makes their bodies using a dry casting process whereby he wraps himself in packing tape. (The babies, similarly, are made using toy dollies.) He calls placing his simulacra in public spaces "an out of body experience."
Mark's pieces for Lazarides include a decapitated Christ upon Golgotha and a cattle skull-headed figure banished to the corner of the gallery. They creep us out, but we can't help loving them.
Lazarides in association with The Old Vic Tunnels are now taking bookings for Hell's Half Acre, an epic and exciting evocation of Dante's Inferno, staged within the labyrinth of tunnels beneath Waterloo Station from the 12th to the 17th October.
Visitors will be taken on a subterranean multi-sensory experience in London's most arresting performance space, interacting with a ground-breaking series of installations from artists including: Conor Harrington, Vhils, George Osodi, Antony Micallef, Doug Foster, Todd James, Paul Insect, Mark Jenkins, Boogie, Ian Francis, Polly Morgan, Jonathan Yeo, Zak Ové, David Choe and more ...
Admission is free, although due the nature of the event booking is mandatory, please reserve your slot.
For more information please read the press release.
Whilst we've been enjoying yet another glorious British summer of flooding and deadly virus dodging, some of our artists have been suffering a life of brilliant sunshine, great food and fine wine in the small town of Grottaglie in Southern Italy as part of the annual Fame Festival.
The idyllic and somewhat rural location may seem unusual, however the town has long been famous for its ancient ceramics tradition and for the presence of the artists that go with it. But don't let that put you off, here's a few pics (molte grazie, Angelo) of a few pieces already put up in the area while we wait for exclusive footage of Mark Jenkins and Vhils acting out that scene on the potter's wheel from Ghost ...
Before Thursday 4th September, the predominantly non-French citizens of Newcastle upon Tyne could have been forgiven for thinking that CRS was simply an initialism for the Catholic Relief Services, or perhaps the Child Rebel Soldiers – the hiphop "supergroup" comprising Kanye West, Pharrell, and Lupe Fiasco. But thanks to Mr Lazarides' collection of 48 surviving hand-made street posters from the Paris rebellion of May 1968, a good few hundred Geordies now know it stands for Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, otherwise known as the riot police, whose suppressive role in the streets of Paris during that month features heavily in many of the amazing posters on display in the gallery.
The learning curve continued on to our basement rooms, where new work from Lucy McLauchlan, 3D, Mark Jenkins, Antonio Diaz, Miranda Donovan, David Choe, BORF and Candice Tripp was shown for the very first time.
And all without a single bottle of Stella Artois (the French vessel of choice for a molotov cocktail) being thrown, or indeed the smashing up of Quayside paving stones as ammunition against the CRS. For now, sous le pave: la plage, or to those who haven't made it to the show yet, under the pavement: the beach.
Thanks to everyone that ventured out in the rain to make it here and also to Red Bull and Abbey Well water for the refreshments. The show runs until the 1st November.
We have now released the book to accompany the solo exhibition 'Outcasts' by Mark Jenkins.
They are a limited edition of 500 of which 100 have been signed.
The signed copies are £45 and the unsigned copies are £20.
To purchase a copy of this book please call the gallery on +44 (0) 203 214 0055 to make payment and arrange collection/delivery.
Dimensions: 25cm x 17cm