On view indefinitely in NIAD's Backroom Gallery
On creating the images in Modern Times
When I first started making the images that make up this exhibition, I was thinking in terms of hot and cool, that is hot and cool in relation to how we perceive and act, not the temperature. I was drawn to the approaches to image making by artists like Linder Sterling and Barney Bubbles, both of these artists being almost the opposite of each other while totally coming from the same creative impulse. I find that approach, the ability to use somethings opposite or at least use a mindset that incorporates the differences in the image, a strong method for producing images that hold my attention. I also realized that I wanted these images to be deadpan and as “dry” as possible. They also needed be approachable, but a little bit off-putting.
It made sense to me that these images would need to be made in a system of mass production – but an analog approach to production versus a computer or digital type of production. I wanted these to be manifested in a physical form – showing a hand of its creation versus what we have come to know in our modern era of consumer goods that seem to magically roll off an assembly line untouched by human hands and showing no trace of the creator of the object. These prints do have small differences between each other – but not where the work is compromised.
I wanted to use the ideas and approaches of punk and post punk – specifically the recontextualization of consumer images and icons in a way that comments on sexuality, class, and modernism in our daily lives. As people we have relationships of so many different kinds, caring and loving, manipulated and uncaring and mixtures of both. These attitudes are all over everything we do and see. I’ve tried to show some of these attitudes in the artworks.
A friend said to me that these artworks seem to be for those people that have a kind of idealism with skid marks on it.
Matthew Langley, January 2020