Gathering works from 1994 to 2017, this new monograph focuses on the artist's fictional self-portraits from his lightbox series as well as on his musical production. It includes an iconographic documentation, essays by artists, critics, and curators, and a text by Graham himself.
The figure of the artist remains a central subject of investigation for Rodney Graham (*1949), known for straddling many areas simultaneously—painter, photographer, writer, philosopher, actor, psychologist, scientist, and musician.
This new monograph gathers together works made between 1994 and 2017, in particular his photographic
lightboxes and his musical production. Contradicting the title “That's Not Me,” the lightbox series focuses on the use of the self-portrait. Graham shows himself starring in various fictional roles (artist, musician, actor, lighthouse keeper, paddler, reader) at different times. According to curator Alessandro Vincentelli, Graham likes to look back at history and repeat it through his work, by “stirring up art history with multiple and varied cultural references, so that the signals are subtly altered for the viewer.” Briony Fer suggests that, “as much as Graham makes pictures that cohere as mise-en-scènes, and that operate self-reflexively to speculate on the very mechanics of the image, so it is impossible to keep all the allusions in check. There is something enigmatic that we can never entirely satisfactorily trace back to the numerous sources that may or may not be at stake. The more Graham elaborates the plotlines for his pictures, the more insistent the sense that there is something moot or irreducible at work in the image. Every hypothetical injunction to 'suppose' tends to lead to another possible conjecture.” Through his visual production, Rodney Graham questions the fundamental perception of the image and invites the public to participate in shaping its meaning.
As well as documenting his visual artistic production, this publication also highlights Graham's musical works. In his essay Robert Linsley retraces Graham's career as a musician and observes the connections that can be made between some of the songs and Graham's visual production.
This monograph is published on the occasion of Rodney Graham's exhibition “That's Not Me” at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (March—June 2017), and includes texts by Sarah Munro, BALTIC Director; Briony Fer, art historian, critic, and curator; Alessandro Vincentelli, curator at BALTIC; Patrik Andersson, writer, critic and curator; Robert Linsley, artist; Harry Pearson, journalist and audiophile, as well as Rodney Graham himself.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, from March 17 to June 11, 2017.
Born 1949 in Vancouver, Rodney Graham is an internationally acclaimed artist. He is known for literary and conceptual artworks, cinematic installations, costume dramas, and also as a singer-songwriter. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, with projects such as "Parsifal Score", "Parsifal (1882-38,969,364,735)", and "School of Velocity", Graham began to make artworks whose central subject was music
or the concrete objects of music such as musical scores and CDs. Since then, the line between his visual art practice and his music practice has become blurred and eventually completely conflates in works such as "How I Became a Ramblin Man", "Zabriskie Point" and "The Phonokinetoscope".