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Exhibition

Duncan Campbell

'Duncan Campbell'

21 Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow G3 6DF

20 September – 25 October 2014

For GENERATION, The Common Guild presented consecutive solo exhibitions by Hayley Tompkins, Corin Sworn and Duncan Campbell. These were the three artists presented by The Common Guild for the exhibition Scotland + Venice 2013, a Collateral Event of the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.

Duncan Campbell produces films that look at representations of the people and events at the heart of very particular histories.

For his exhibition at The Common Guild, Campbell took Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’ 1953 essay film ‘Les Statues meurent aussi’ (Statues also Die) as both source and artefact, to pursue a meditation on the life, death and the value of objects.

‘When people die, they enter history. When statues die, they enter art. This botany of death is what we call culture.’

So begins the film, included in its entirety, presented much like the objects that appear in the film: to be viewed in a time and place different from those of its making. Commissioned by Présence Africaine, it tracks objects from Sub-Saharan Africa to the Western metropolis, and the transition from religious fetish to commodity; from original to market.

Campbell’s film, ‘It for others’, starts as a response to the 1953 film. It combines diverse filmed footage, along with some archive material. It picks up Marker and Resnais’ argument connecting the commercialisation of African Art with its death, and the determinations of value that are at the heart of this displacement. The film includes a performance made in collaboration with Michael Clark Company, which looks at the basic principle of commodities and their exchange.

The work was originally commissioned by The Common Guild for Scotland + Venice 2013, a Collateral Event of the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.

Photography by Ruth Clark