Adam Gillam, Joe Orton, Kenneth Halliwell
This exhibition brought together a rare opportunity to view a selection of the defaced dust jackets by the late Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell alongside a number of artworks produced specifically for and within the space of Ancient and Modern Gallery, London. The defaced covers employ the physical processes of collage to provide witty but savage alterations to a range of “institutional” books, in this case, Islington Library, and possibly as a means to insert themselves into institutions which were unreceptive to them at the time. The return to the library for both Orton and Halliwell was an important aspect of their process of defacement in order to observe possible responses to their handiwork. Taking this element of performance directly into the physical arena of the gallery space, a series of works are developed from components, elements and suggestions of finished pieces. The process of creation is analyzed and this analysis becomes the basis for new works, each piece representing a highly self-conscious moment of reflection and performance and is highly contingent on the moment. Whilst the Orton/Halliwell re-written covers speak of a very particular historical and political context, these awkward, jittery and mischievous objects almost deliberately refuse classification.
Citation : Gillam, A.M. (2011) Adam Gillam, Joe Orton, Kenneth Halliwell. Ancient and Modern Gallery, London
Research Group : Fine Art Practices
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Arts