Part of Again, A Time Machine: a Book Works touring exhibition in six parts
Preview Thursday 5 April, 6 – 9pm, with a performance/shredding by Stewart Home
From his earliest work Stewart Home has expressed an avant-gardist desire to write himself into the archive of culture. Mixing myth and polemic, with plagiarism and a savage ideological critique, the parodic manifestoes of Generation Positive progressed into the self-historicizing magazine Smile, the Neoists, and finally The Art Strike – an aggressive appropriation of Gustav Metzger’s strike proposal.
Fueled on kung-fu and Hegel, Home’s return to anti-art practice saw the publication of a rash of polymorphous and perverse novels, Red London, Defiant Pose, Slow Death, as well as exhibitions at City Racing, workfortheeyetodo, projects with Imprint 93, and ongoing performance, prank and film work. His cultural output now forms a significant archive of counter-cultural activities, not only written into the archive of culture, but networked across it, in a practice which seamlessly moves between unearthing and collecting unknown radical histories such as Black Mask – Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers, the reworking of Lettrist Cinema, and writing projects, such as Book Works’ recent Semina series.
Presented as part of Book Works’ Again A Time Machine, an exhibition in which the twin poles of archive and distribution are explored through new art commissions, performance and the written and spoken word, SPACE hosts the first UK retrospective of Home’s work. A selection of artwork, including Art Strike Bed, Vermeer II and Becoming (M)other (in which Home re-imagines his mother’s 1960s modelling portfolio in ways that would make Cindy Sherman blush), are shown alongside Smile, Re-action, novels, pamphlets, films and other ephemera presenting a comprehensive overview of a oeuvre that demonstrates the desire to continually reforge the passage between theory and practice, overcome canalised cultural pursuits and breach the false separations between art and politics and the private and social. In his multiple egoistic persona Home claims to have strived not just for greatness but also grooviness. More than thirty years on from his first cultural interventions, Home is more than ever convinced that since the world is disenchanted, telling outrageous lies is the only means of approaching ‘truth’ and thus making life fabulous once again.
The exhibition concludes with a night of readings by Home, and other Semina authors, Katrina Palmer and Bridget Penney, and screenings cult kung-fu films, including Master of the Flying Guillotine.
Again, A Time Machine’ is supported by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts and The Henry Moore Foundation; Book Works would like to thank Mark Pawson, and Brighid Lowe for loans to this exhibition.
Established in 1984, Book Works is an art commissioning organisation specialising in artists’ books, spoken word and printed matter. We are dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists, and our projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects.