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In State Britain hundreds of banners, war photographs, protest signs, bloodstained articles clothing, stuffed bears and flags are strung across the exhibition space. The work is a meticulous reconstruction of the 'wailing wall' with which peace activist Brian William Haw (1949-2011) gave power to his protest on Parliament Square in London for many years. When Wallinger photographed his sprawling protest in early 2006, Haw had already been camping out across from the Palace of Westminster for five consecutive years, in order to draw attention to the humanitarian disaster brought about by the sanctions against and war in Iraq. About six months later Wallinger exhibited State Britain in the Duveen Gallery of Tate Britain and won the Turner prize.
According to Mark
Where his own name is concerned, Wallinger manages to make optimal use of its ambiguity, as in the nearly two-hour-long video Mark and in the intriguing installation According to Mark. Depending on how we look at the title, our interpretation of the hundred chairs can shift. Set up in rows and marked with the letters MARK, they are visually connected by a bundle of white cords, which reach their vanishing point—or have their origins perhaps—at a higher point on the wall.
Mark Wallinger and Hendrik Driessen, arranging the exhibition MARK in 2011
The work of the British artist Mark Wallinger (1959) is very diverse. Though trained as a painter, he also employs the media of photography, video, performance, sculpture and installations. In addition to this, language plays a significant role. In his work Wallinger raises social, political and religious issues, often with remarkable lightness. With the much-discussed State Britain, he won the Turner Prize in 2007. Measuring forty-three meters in length, this work comprised the core of his exhibition at De Pont, named MARK.
Where his own name is concerned, Wallinger manages to make optimal use of its ambiguity, as in the video Mark and in the intriguing installation According to Mark.
Wallinger often makes use of existing material. In this film he is arranging a series of self portraits, consisting of typefaces such as Arial and Lucida Console. A more inclusive and, at the same time, compact form of portrayal can scarcely be imagined. The depictions of the fifteen Self-Portraits in black-and-white consist of no more than a capital 'I', each painted in a different typeface.
Camera, edit, director: Zeus Hoenderop 2011
Many thanks to: Mark Wallinger/ Hendrik Driessen and the peer-to-peer guides Naomi van Dijck /Bram Walter.