Parc du Souvenir
Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
29 October – 17 December 2016
Stephen Brandes presents a new body of work for TRG3 that includes a sculptural billboard situated in the historic Quad of Edinburgh University, two digital slideshows and a monumental drawing in Talbot Rice’s Gallery 3.
The work follows research into the lives and legacies of two very different people; Patrick Geddes, a Scottish polymath who transformed the Old Town of Edinburgh and subsequently went on to be an eccentric but radical influence on the world of city planning during the early 20th century, and Gűnter Grass, author of The Tin Drum, who as a youth witnessed the utter destruction of his home city Danzig during WW2. This developed into a broader meditation, not only on the inter-relationships between Scotland and mainland Europe, but on historical periods of ‘enlightenment’ and their subsequent periods of suspension, through to the architecture, monuments and artifacts that remain years later, often out of context and often out of shape.
The resulting body of work is manifest as a dysfunctional allegory, part of which is a stream-of-consciousness memoir delivered through a fictional character from the future date of 2068.
Brandes’ work shares some ground with literary fiction, using word and image as vehicles for storytelling. His use of multiple artforms however, including collage, photography and drawing, emphasizes the power of images to carry much of the weight of this narrative, allowing also for subtle cross-references, departures and awkward contradictions with a measured balance of gallows humour and poignance.
Parc du Souvenir
Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
26 January – 24 February 2017
Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Cork, Ireland
9 April - 21 May 2017
© Stephen Brandes 2016