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Alan Kane and Humphrey Spender

 
Details
 
Creators:Kane, Alan and Spender, Humphrey
Description:

Alan Kane exhibited 32 colour photographs from the series 'Trying to die happy', documenting drinking culture in Soho, London in the late 1990s to early 2000s, together with 15 photographs by Humphrey Spender (1910–2005), whose images document drinking culture in the 1930s.

My images blur distinctions between artist and audience consistent with my general research direction. The camera is treated as an invitation to perform and a mechanism for framing everyday creativity as much as a tool for making something new. My photographs contrasted with the covert work of Spender who, through his association with Mass Observation in Bolton in 1937/8, participated in the birth of domestic sociological enquiry and modern marketing.

My photographs did much to initiate more formal anthropological investigation by the Folk Archive. They are similarly concerned with sustaining, generating and focusing on the significance of the prosaic: exploring how art can exist in every aspect of the daily lives of us all. Spender joined Mass Observation, the social research organisation that grew out of anthropology and surrealism, to study the everyday lives of people in Britain and to produce a ground-breaking 'anthropology of ourselves'.

Showing these two distinct photographic practices together I drew parallels in the formal subjects of each while highlighting the significant distinctions in approach my cultural concepts dictated.

My initial research was concentrated in Bolton (or, as Mass Observation classified it for the purposes of their study, Worktown). I worked with Ancient and Modern, Bolton Museums and Art Gallery and Rachel Spender, the widow of Humphrey Spender, to produce the exhibition.

Type of Research:Show/Exhibition
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Alan Kane

Research Interests

Fine art
Curating
Socially engaged practices
Cultural interventions

Current Research
Questioning the hierarchies and forms of artistic or cultural production and blurring the distinction between artist and audience have always been central aspects in projects I have undertaken. This is true of both my solo practice and my long-term collaborative practice with Jeremy Deller. I have always held and promoted the position that art exists with or without the professional artist and my practice has been involved as much in framing examples of everyday creativity as in producing art.

Your affiliations with UAL:Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date:13 January 2007
Event Location:Ancient and Modern, London
Material/Media:photographs
ID Code:1471
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:03 Dec 2009 23:38
Last Modified:09 Dec 2010 13:09
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