Peter Kennard - Uncertain Documents
Pump House Gallery is pleased to present Uncertified Documents, an exhibition that brings together over forty original photomontages by Peter Kennard, once described as ďBritainís master of photomontageĒ. Made over a 30-year period from the 1970s, the works address social and political issues such as conflict, the environment, nuclear disarmament and civil liberty, subjects that remain highly pertinent. Using photomontage as a critical vehicle for his examination of political and social concerns, Kennardís extraordinary collection of images presents a radical view of Britainís social and cultural infrastructure.
The exhibition will show the artistís photomontages and working roughs for his final pieces, alongside original copies of numerous media - newspapers, magazines, posters and books - in which they have appeared. These include The Guardian, Workers Press as well as CND and GLC posters. This remarkable collection of photomontage images is ruthless in its ability to surprise and provoke. Though no longer new in itself, and now frequently visible in our everyday lives, such simple cut and paste techniques can still be disconcerting, demanding debate about the parameters of art and questioning the validity of media information.
Kennardís practice stems from a rebellion against conventional modes of art production, consumption and presentation. Influenced by John Heartfield, the German photomonteur who produced work in the 1930s and 40s that laid bare the injustices of the rise of fascism, Kennardís art similarly communicates strong political messages to initiate collective action. Serious yet satirical, Kennard conveys his message with unique wit and imagination, often disguising the high level of technical sophistication required to produce each image.
The exhibition will include their recent work, which has evolved to digital montage; together they created Photo-op, one of the most memorable media images of the Blair/Bush decade. They have recently made their first video, shot by Picton Phillipps - rough, DIY and reminiscent of the early montages. This insight into the working process of Kennard and Picton Phillipps explores the actions of an artist; selecting, marking, cutting, altering and reassembling to create new and critical images, making a visual comment on the world.