Mark Leckey

b. 1964, Birkenhead, UK. Lives and works in London, UK


Mark Leckey
Mark Leckey, Untitled (Prince Albert, Little Richard, Pouter), 2003



Leckey's work is at its heart that of an individual who is a fan; of brands, actors, objects and images. These are selected as they have a power over the artist, and perhaps us. This power is often one of simple desire; desire to own, and desire to be. By dissecting the personal and political significance of popular culture in the digital age where everything is ownable, at least as an image, Leckey investigates where exactly we can locate collective and individual meaning in a secular age. Whether in lectures, film, installation, performance, or sound, much of Leckey's art accomplishes a distillation of belief systems, opening up and considering our relationship to the world.

March of the Big White Barbarians takes us on a slideshow tour of public sculpture in London, with a rapid succession of public works of art by late 20th century artists, such as Lynn Chadwick, Barry Flanagan, Eduardo Paolozzi, Fernando Botero and Richard Serra. Pictures of these sculptures, in their urban settings of late capitalist architecture and privately owned 'public' plazas, are set to the sound of Leckey's group Jack Too Jack chanting a translated poem by the Lettrist Maurice Lemaître. The slide presentation is a typical pedagogical or corporate device for conveying information and ideas. By using this format Leckey puts forward a critique of authoritative power, culminating in the resigned cry: 'Ahh, everything's been eaten, everything's been drunk. So I'll just watch the Big White Barbarians passing by.'