Peter Liversidge at Kate MacGarry: 13 January – 18 February 2017

Kate MacGarry, London: 13 January – 18 February 2017
Preview: Thursday 12 January, 6-8pm


For his first solo exhibition at Kate MacGarry, Peter Liversidge presents a group of conceptually-based projects spanning photography, painting, sculpture and performance. Liversidge allows his work to be manipulated and subsequently formed by influences beyond his control; his artworks are investigations of coincidence and not limited to the language of a single medium.

Liversidge will present, for the first time together, work relating to his ongoing fascination with duplication, pairs and the psychological phenomena of Pareidolia, the condition where upon the sufferer tries to make sense of the world around them by looking for a pattern, visual structure or, more commonly, a face.

Using a portable typewriter, Liversidge begins each project with a series of written proposals which precisely set his intentions for the show. ‘It is important (he says) that these are descriptive and not prescriptive, they are the starting point to the work.’ Each is written in response to the experience of a place and vary in their chance of being accomplished. For his exhibition at Tate Liverpool in 2008 for example, Liversidge proposed to ‘drain the Albert Dock’. Both the framed proposals and the physical act they dictate constitute the ‘artwork’ and therefore, if the performance is not completed, Liversidge may not perceive the work as successful or comprehensive.

The exhibition also includes pairs of seemingly duplicate Polaroid photographs. They are taken minutes apart but intend to capture two images as near to identical as possible. There is an irreversible permanence to these photographs which is dictated by the immediacy of Polaroid technology. As with a typewriter, the controller only has one chance to capture what they intend, he explains; ‘…the analogue technology I choose to use has as much control of me, as I do of it’. In an age where advancements in digital photography and post-production can conceal such discrepancies, it is the imperfect product of these less sophisticated pieces of equipment that interests him.

Peter Liversidge was born in 1973 in Lincoln, UK. In June 2016 Liversidge presented The Bridge (A Choral Piece for Tate Modern) in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. Commissioned by Tate, over five hundred amateur singers from 24 London based choirs performed a unique cycle of songs in response to Tate Modern’s new building, its history and its place in contemporary life.

Recent solo exhibitions include Proposals for the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut, until 5 February 2017, Twofold, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, 2016, The postal objects of Peter Liversidge from the collection of Peter Foolen, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Notes on Protesting, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2015, UK C-O-N-T-I-N-U-A-T-I-O-N, i-8 gallery, Reykjavík, Iceland, 2014 and doppelgänger, presented at The MAC, Belfast, UK in 2014 and at Ingleby Gallery in 2013.