Hew Locke and Indra Khanna, lead artist-curators for
Deptford X 2012, have selected the following headline artists for this year’s programme, Henna Nadeem, Dzine, Doug Jones and The Hidden Noise. These accomplished artists have been selected by our leading artists/ curator because of their work embodies the theme and spirit of this year’s festival.
A large outdoor installation centred on the commercial buildings of Deptford, Gold Standard uses original old share certificates to explore the history and movement of money, power and ownership.
Hew Locke has for several years been drawn to the beauty of paper share certificates and banknotes. His Bristol work ‘Ruined’ drew on their imagery to create a permanent cast-iron public art project.
For Deptford X, Hew Locke has selected, painted and drawn over original share certificates from many different sources. The certificates feature fine engravings of gods and goddesses, happy workers, new technology and fine landscapes. Confident typography and classical motifs imply stability and worth – even though many of these newborn companies may not have started trading when the certificates were issued.
The re-workings in Gold Standard both obscure and highlight information, and whet our appetite to discover more about the companies themselves. Sometimes you can see figures representative of the local population breaking through – silent witnesses who seem to have been excavated from history. These people were, after all, the ones who created the wealth, even though they received no benefit from it.
In other re-workings, you can pick up comparisons or parallels between the recent and more distant past. The Chinese Imperial Gold Loan certificate, for example, reminds us of a time when China tried to raise funds from Europe. Now China is the one investing in the developing world and the West.
Hew Locke has had solo exhibitions in the UK and USA, and his work can be seen in many collections, including those at the Tate Gallery, the Arts Council of England, the Brooklyn Museum, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas, the RISD Museum in Rhode Island, the New Art Gallery in Walsall, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Museum and the Henry Moore Institute.
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