Invites: Guy Oliver
The exhibition And You Thought I Was Bad? finds Guy Oliver continuing his exploration of the relationship between comedy and tragedy within contemporary popular culture. To do so he steps back into the recent past of the mid-2000s. Central to the show is a new film that examines the effects of the passing of time within individual and collective memory, the function of arts education institutions and the role of political protest within art. Oliver uses the memory of an unrealised artwork from his time as an undergraduate student in the mid-2000s as a starting point, and, assuming the role of a television arts presenter, returns to his former university to remake this long obsolete idea – a T-shirt bearing an image of Richard Nixon that aimed to satirise George W Bush and the events surrounding the Iraq war. Charting the surreal connections between art and mainstream politics through a form of mangled personal nostalgia, Oliver ruminates on American Presidential figures, the cultural significance of Johnny Cash and how the narrative of his own life has been intertwined with recent socio-political global events.
Guy Oliver (b. 1982, Barnet, UK) lives and works in London. He graduated from The Royal College of Art (MA Painting) in 2015 and previously studied Fine Art BA at The University of East London. Recent solo and two-person shows include Live From San Quentin, Random Access Gallery, Syracuse, New York (2018); Zona Mista (with Robbie Howells), Westminster Waste, London (2017); Did You Think I’d Leave You Dying?, Chalton Gallery, London (2017) and (I Wanna Give You) Devotion (with Kate Mackeson), Hockney Gallery, London (2015). Recent group exhibitions and screenings include Staging Series, Jerwood Space, London (2017); NAWKI, East Bristol Contemporary, Bristol (2017); LCN Showcase 2nd Edition, SPACE, London (2017); Edinburgh Artists’ Moving Image Festival, Filmhouse, Edinburgh (2016); Outpost Members Show 2016, OUTPOST, Norwich (2016); Guilt Complex, Bikini Wax, Mexico City, (2016); Two Hundred Acres, Pump House Gallery, London (2015) and Heckle, Bosse and Baum, London (2015).