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Dereck Harris

Dereck Harris curated the group exhibition, Timeslip in March 2013 at Gallery Stock in Berlin, which also included artists Sam Herbert and Greg Rook. The exhibition presented a recent development in his work, which persists in the most current paintings. The new work departs from an earlier curatorial project-exhibition The Dream of Putrefaction (2007) which concerned the surface gloss of magazine images and the interplay of an ‘abstract pictorialism’ in the painted re-presentation of photo-sourced imagery.

Most recently Harris has selected historic source images which are re-envisaged from the vantage point of a contemporary moment. This presents a retrospective view of a previously imagined future which has now come to pass: A twenty-first century reality which reveals a faded twentieth century future-view. An aim of the exhibition in Berlin, was to show a selection of retro-futurist paintings which evoke a historical nostalgia, but through a careful shift in visual rendering, commenting on the anticipation of a dated and idealised future. Harris used an analogue airbrush technique to transcribe low-res captured images from film footage documentation (available on You Tube) of Maurice Bejart’s acclaimed 1970 choreographic production of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The pared down style of production, nude costumes, bare stage and dissolving grainy video image quality enhance the sense of absurd seriousness the cast bring to Stravinsky’s urgent fertility ritual.

On Feral Space:

‘I am also very involved with a UAL Community of Practice network called Feral Space. This group of lecturers and students promotes pedagogical discussion and research into teaching and learning with a difference. Feral Space proposes unregulated or non-instrumentalised art school thinking. In a teaching context this can embrace interdisciplinary, collaboration and foreground experimentation and risk-taking. The fluid space of extra-curricular activity can support feral space, and physical provision of flexible project spaces can facilitate playful and open-ended working practices which may celebrate the value of creative failure.’

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