Galerie Marion De Cannière
Opening: 2013/03/14 18:00
Website Galerie Marion De Cannière
The artist self-branded as Savage has developed a multifaceted art practice that considers materialism and ideas of ‘free will’ in today’s society, often working at the edges of the issues of ownership and legality. Savage looks to reconsider our relationship to objects through tampering with their status as commodities of desire, inverting them with alternative notions of value outside of the flow of consumerism. His seemingly irrational acts could be considered a form of “poetic activism”, which is sometimes through the strategy of providing a new status to things that are no longer deemed to have a use value, and at other times might also include alleged acts of theft.
This, his most recent exhibition, entitled Now look what you made me go and do, brings together a series of inventive projects in different media that appropriate and reposition readymade things into different places within the cycle of production and consumption, supply and demand. The artworks here include seductive installations, slick video, playful book-related sculptures, photo documents of curious but generous acts, and other remnants of clandestine performative actions. Through his body of work, Savage depicts the tragic character of human endeavour without condemning it, but rather seeking its poetic potential.
Recent works such as I didn’t know anything before and I still don’t know anything now (2011) – a collection of over 600 “beginner’s guide” books, contemplate the notions of individualism, knowledge and creativity in the demands from society for us to be entrepreneurial, along with the related sense of alienation at the unattainability of fulfillment for our desires. Perhaps his best-known work, Stolen White Goods (2005), consists of the theft of 36 items from several shops. Savage’s theft is not motivated by criminal, compulsive or lucrative intentions, but rather aims to realign ﬁctions and realities by creating new urban myths around the moral grey areas of society. Ownership and possession are persistently brought to the fore in Savage’s practice, offering the potential for us to rethink our role as participants in what is referred to as late capitalism.
Born in Glasgow, Savage lives and works in Ghent, where he is a candidate laureate at the HISK. He is Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Design at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Recent solo projects include: ‘Why We Will’ at Regina Gallery, London (2012), ‘Savage Presents Jean Michel Jarre’ at Spike Island, Bristol; ‘Hotel Marienbad 003’ at Kunst Werke, Berlin (2008); ‘This is yours now’ at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2005 – 2006). His projects have been included in numerous group exhibitions such as ‘We are Grammar’ at the Pratt Institute, New York (2011); ‘On Purpose: Design Concepts’ at Arnolfini, Bristol (2009); and ‘Localisms’ at Museum de Paviljoens, Netherlands (2008). In 2010 he was awarded a Gasworks International Research Fellowship in Amman, Jordan.
Savage has been selected by Nav Haq for this solo exhibition.