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Kingsley Ifill

Work / Art

Artist Kingsley Ifill rips up the press release

Artist Kingsley Ifill is ripping up one of the art world’s most grating communicative tools: the overwritten, hopelessly reductive press release. “After much time, thought and debate, I decided on not having an official press release, hoping the exhibition would generate some kind of conversation down the line which could then in the future possibly be used as an accompanying text,” he tells It’s Nice That.

Kingsley’s current show Mute, is on now at Golborne Gallery, west London, until 23 December. Mute comes after four years of working in “a few different isolated studios” in Kent-based seaside town Herne Bay. Mute brings together a collection of monochromatic works marrying image and text across canvases — both intact and deconstructed — and sculptural pieces displayed in thick boxes on placed atop plinths. But exactly what it all means, the viewer must decide.

“To put it plainly, I wanted to exhibit a selection of the work from this time but without all the bullshit and sugar coating that generally goes into art exhibitions,” Kingsley explains. “Personally, I’ve got a lot of energy and emotion invested in the work, but regardless of that, if there was an aim, it would be for viewers to come and develop their own thoughts or feelings towards the work rather than being spoon fed through a press release.”

His inspiration? Look no further than Susan Sontag’s essay Against interpretation, in which she argues “what is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to _see_ more, to _hear_ more, to _feel_ more. Our task is not to find the maximum amount of content in a work of art, much less to squeeze more content out of the work than is already there. Our task is to cut back content so that we can see the thing at all.”

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