Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer presents the exhibition, ‘It’s Not There Till It’s There’ a duo show by British artists Hannah Perry and Simeon Barclay; curated by Robert Sheffield.
Both artists have recently been shown at major UK and foreign institutions including the Tate Britain UK, The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art UK, The Jerwood Gallery UK (Simeon Barclay) and Kuenstlerhaus Graz Austria, Somerset House UK, and the Arsenal Art Contemporain, Canada (Hannah Perry).
Hannah Perry (*1984) and Simeon Barclay (*1975) explore the human experience of identity in their practice working across various media. The decision to show both artists together stemmed from a shared approach and similar aesthetic. The artists wrestle with their past experience, drawing upon a pool of disparate cultural sources to enact their own contested authenticity, turning cold and austere material into tender expressions of reflection and belonging.
A rigorous experimental process and feel emanates from both bodies of work. Beyond the visceral one can sense a visual archeology that underscores the slick surfaces, giving clues to the problems and possibilities of representation. A glossy pop atmosphere pervades the exhibition space. Barclay’s imagery of fashion and cultural icons, clash with metallic materials, hinting at his past life as an industrial engineer in the North of England. Perry’s social media inspired pop imagery underlies an anxiety about self image also often using industrial processes.
Perry’s work is highly dynamic, self reflective while actively engaging with the world around her. Her practice often involves dance, spoken word, video and sound installations and collaborations with other artists, musicians and designers. Perry embraces issues around social media, the experience of youth and relationships, creating a contemporary dialogue. For the exhibition, ‘It’s Not There Till it’s There’, she has produced a new series of silkscreens and sound installations.
Barclay, who is exhibiting for the first time in Austria, seeks to understand the tumultuous process of how we identify and situate ourselves within culture and tradition, a direct reaction to his own experience of growing up in Britain. His youth was spent immersed within various subcultures, experimenting with clubbing, fashion and music. An experience that gave him an understanding of the dynamic way people reinvent themselves. An avid reader of Vogue from an early age, Barclay has been fascinated by both the glamorous world, reflected within its pages but also the undercurrent of anxiety and pretence that are necessary to form its glossy perceptions. Barclay’s work reflects this juxtaposition of heritage, cultural icons, identity, and the everyday with a vital and original voice working across a wide range of media from sculpture, collage and video.
The Title ‘It’s Not There Till It’s There’ was a quote taken from Simeon Barclay about the nature of the creative process, a feeling Hannah Perry also shares when it comes to making her own work, it felt like an apt common bond to unite these two prominent young artists work.Courtesy of the artists and Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna