THE City Factory will host a major exhibition of photographic and video works by native son Willie Doherty.
UNSEEN will present 20 photographic and four video works spanning the career of the two-time Turner prize nominee. It runs from Friday (Sep 27), to Saturday (Jan 4)
The exhibition will provide an overview of Doherty’s photographs and videos made on the streets of his native city and its hinterlands, presenting new insight into the artist’s working methods and vision.
Since 1985 the artist has recorded the way in which the city has been shaped and altered in response to unfolding political events through the simple acts of walking, looking and recording on film or in photographs.
The title of the exhibition, UNSEEN, refers to Doherty’s self-conscious method of using the camera in a context where it was imperative for him to avoid undue attention and to minimize the risk of being mistaken for a photojournalist or a tourist.
The exhibition will reveal how Doherty has used the techniques of photojournalism, documentary landscape photography and the appropriation of images and texts to create a body of photographic work that explores the shifting divide between fiction and reality.
UNSEEN will examine how the artist evolved the use of image and text in his early black and white works (1985–92) to engage with the complexities of a contested landscape. A number of black and white photographs from the 1980s and 90s will be shown for the first time.
As part of this unique exhibition, Doherty will present a new group of photographs made this year in Londonderry which provide an opportunity for the artist to reflect on how the city has evolved and how his own working methods and processes continue to address the problem of capturing the contemporary city.
UNSEEN will showcase a number of Doherty’s most important video installations that place some of Derry’s best-known and more hidden sites as locations for his narratives.
At The End Of The Day (1994) is the earliest video work to be included and highlights Doherty’s interest in the border roads that surround Derry’s west bank.
The exhibition will also feature Re-Run (2002) a double screen video projection for which Doherty was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2003.
Ghost Story (2007), which was produced as part of Doherty’s representation of Northern Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2007, will also here be shown for the first time in Derry.
Remains (2013), a new video work that Doherty has produced in Derry in 2013 will be included in the exhibition, having debuted at Art Unlimited at Basel 2013. Remains was made in a number of locations in Londonderry that have been used since the early 1970s to carry out kneecappings, a form of punishment shooting.
Robin Klassnik, director of Matt’s Gallery, London, who has worked with the artist since 1990, curates the exhibition with Pearse Moore, chief executive of the Nerve Centre, Derry. UNSEEN will form a core element of the city’s 2013 Derry-Londonderry City of Culture celebrations.
Shona McCarthy, chief executive of Culture Company 2013 said: “For nearly three decades Willie has been a beacon for the visual arts in Derry~Londonderry and his impact on the international stage has been an inspiration. At a time when the eyes of the contemporary arts world will be focused on the city as it hosts the Turner Prize, it is fitting that Willie Doherty is having a major exhibition in his home town.”