February 7 - March 22, 2003
Victor Burgin's artistic and theoretical project, from its beginnings in Conceptual Art in the late 1960's up to his most recent 'panoramas', is; as he himself has pointed out; a narration of the present, 'where any individual "present moment" lies at the intersection of the private (perceptions, memories, and fantasies) and the public (everyday relations with others and the realm of the political)'.
'Room' 1970 is a narration of this moment. It emerges from a strong commitment to the search for a place of individual persona - a place both mental and physical, but also critical, triggered by the action of, in Roland Barthes's words, 'proceeding in oneself' in a particular time and space. The present, as the artists reminds us, is not 'a perpetually fleeting point on a line "through time" but a collage of disparate times, a imbrication of shifting and contested spaces'. Room, first shown at the Camden Arts Centre consists of strips of paper pasted to the walls, each with a typed sentence drawing attention to an aspect of the otherwise empty room.
Over the past thirty years Victor Burgin's work has established him both as one of the most influential practitioners of Conceptual Art, and one of the most insightful theorists of the still and moving image. After 13 years in the United States, Burgin has recently returned to Britain to take the Millard Chair of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Burgin who was nominated for the Turner Prize shortly prior to his departure for the USA, and who is now being discovered by a new generation of contemporary artists in Europe. A new book 'Relocating' is published this year to coincide with "Listen to Britain" at Arnolfini, Burgin's first major exhibition in Britain since 1986.
Victor Burgin's photographic and video works can be found in such public collections as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. A retrospective of Victor Burgin's work was exhibited at the Antoni Tàpies Foundation in Barcelona in 2001. His theoretical works have been translated into many languages, and include In/Different Spaces, The End of Art Theory, and Thinking Photography.