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Nathan Coley

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Haunch of Venison (Bruton St) presents NATHAN COLEY - 27 Jan - 26 Feb 2005

Nathan Coley (born Glasgow, 1967, lives and works in Dundee) investigates the social aspects of our built environment in works in a diverse range of media including public and gallery-based sculpture, photography, drawing and video. Following the critical and popular success of his retrospective at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (22 May – 18 July 2004), Haunch of Venison is delighted to present Coley’s first solo exhibition in London, which includes a selection of new and existing works.

Coley’s practice is based in an interest in public space, and explores how architecture comes to be invested, and reinvested, with meaning. It reveals that claims to public space are made by groups of people who have different ideas on how it should be used, and how the buildings they erect manifest that group’s values and beliefs. For Coley, buildings are empty vessels given significance by their social history and by the communities that populate them. Coley is interested in exploring how cultural views and ideas differ with the passage of time and between locations.

This exhibition brings together works in a variety of different visual languages that present homes, buildings and monuments from different times and locations. Tower and Wall (1937 prefabs), 2004 and Emanuel (1972 Settlement Offensive), 2005 present different architectural models that recreate homes built at two key moments in Israel’s history. Tower and Wall is a group of five single storey buildings, erected during the settlement of Palestine by the Israelis during the 1930s. Like the buildings they are based on, these models were built in a day. Coley sites them on a blue tarpaulin with a ten-metre rope, giving the models positioning a sense of impermanence.

A second group of new works presents a series of photographs of contemporary show-homes from locations around Edinburgh. The images capture the conflagration of architectural styles in the vernacular post-modern design of new-build detached houses. Although a manufactured style created by our consumer society, the building’s façade is widely understood as projecting the individual’s status, taste and place in society.

Nathan Coley graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1989 with a BA in Fine Art and has had solo exhibitions at Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon in 2001 and Westfalischer Kunstverein, Munster in 2000. His work relating the trial of the Lockerbie bombers was included in Days Like These, a group exhibition at Tate Britain in 2003. An exhibition of Coley’s new film, Jerusalem Syndrome, is on view at the Cooper Gallery in Dundee from 21 Jan – 26 Feb

Courtesy: Haunch of Venison, London
Copyright: Nathan Coley, 2005

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