Artist: Jamie Fitzpatrick (in collaboration with Deborah Bowmann)
Exhibition title: The Magician and the lover
Venue: Deborah Bowmann, Brussels, Belgium
Date: February 8 – March 28, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Deborah Bowmann, Brussels
“The Magician and the lover” is a collaboration between Deborah Bowmann and Jamie Fitzpatrick, English artist born in 1985 in South Port, UK.
J. Fitzpatrick’s work focuses on the rhetoric of the production of images and the various devices put in place to impose forms of power and control, using the grotesque as a form of deconstruction of these figures.
Accompanied by a series of drawings, two sculptures are presented here (The Magician and The Lover) giving its title to the exhibition. The Lover, a human figure with three singing heads, both beneficent and monstrous, hums a romantic refrain on the model of the American crooner: acapella versions by Elvis Presley sang by the artist. In a jovial tone, this song fills the space sadly, highlighting the idea of spectacular and deceptive mechanics, thwarting the codes of American-style entertainment and its leading masculine figures.
Striking in its scale and style, The Magician, by its title, announces a character also eminently spectacular and entertaining. He is an atrophied figure without arms and perhaps even more disappointed in his actions than The Lover, reciting bits of tutorials about how to tie a Windsor knot. The narrative form evoked by these characters is thus partially annihilated, highlighting a relationship with cinema and distorted narration.
Originally presented in outdoor scenes during the Contemporary Forward exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale Art Gallery, they are brought here in a domestic space, underlined by the scenography of the exhibition. In a proposal that is minimal, sculptural and architectural, Deborah Bowmann presents a false parquet covering the entire space. Roughly carved, stained and varnished, this grotesque and childlike-looking floor seems to have come out of a comic book, joining and thus emphasizing certain characteristics of the works of Jamie Fitzpatrick.
‘The Magician and the lover’ thus takes the form of a total, immersive and collaborative installation, functioning as a three-dimensional realization of a cartoon scene without history and setting up games of confusion and overlap between works and scenographic elements.
Jamie Fitzpatrick (b.1985, Southport, UK) lives and works in London. He graduated in 2015 with an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, having gained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practice in 2009 from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. Awards include: Vordemberge-Gildewart Award (2016), shortlist; XL Catlin Art Prize (2016); UK/RAINE Saatchi Gallery Sculpture Prize (2015); New Contemporaries (2015 and 2016), shortlist; Cowley Manor, Shortlisted, Cheltenham (2015); LAND Securities Award (2015).
He has been exhibited international in galleries, institutions and art fairs including: Contemporary Forward at Touchstones Rochdale Museum, Rochdale, UK; Exeter Phoenix, UK; ICA, London, UK; Camden Arts Centre, London, UK; Saatchi Gallery, London, UK; Sheffield Museum, Sheffield, UK; Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, UK; Bluecoat, Liverpool, UK; Backlit, Nottingham, UK; Pangaea Sculptor’s Centre, London, UK; Cowley Manor Sculpture Garden, Cheltenham, UK; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK; Litóst gallery in Prague, CZ; PADA Barreiro, PT; Cassina Projects with ARTUNER, New York, US; ARTISSIMA, Turin, IT; and POPPOSITIONS, Brussels, BE.