Friday, 17 October 2008

Mark Wilsher – The New Room

Mark Wilsher is an artist, curator and writer currently based in Norwich. His practice incorporates, sculpture, drawing and performance. For EAST 05 exhibition in Norwich, Wilsher performed a different speeches every Saturday for 7 weeks, his re-enactments often confront audiences with a replaying of little read and seldom heard historical documents.

a video of Mark Wilsher's performance at the opening - wherein this white, preppy-looking artist recited Martin Luther King's 1963 'I Have a Dream' speech. Presenting himself as a 'semi-subjective filter of news and witness to history', Wilsher managed with very simple means to create a heady complex of mixed emotions that alluded strongly to the present moment, and which had a leftfield bravery about it characteristic of the best of the show."
Martin Herbert, Modern Painters Nov '05

He has recently been making works that re-engage with abstract public sculptures dating from the late 1940s to the 1980s. Such works – often large composites made of metal, and many by artists that have been forgotten today – continue to have a life in the form of photographs in old journals and catalogues. Wilsher used his fellowship at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds to study these works, and the resulting body of work will be on show at the Institute in 2008.

For Down at the Bamboo, Mark is interested in exploring the rich history of sermons and speeches at The Wesley Rooms, with its social function within Bristol and historical links to the abolitionist movement. Mark in conjunction with a group of participants might research, develop and stage a series of re-enactments.

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