The artist, filmmaker, scriptwriter, musician and gay rights activist Derek Jarman (1942–1994) powerfully marked twentieth-century British culture. This exhibition, with some seventy works, highlights his practice as a painter and assemblagist. It focuses on the last part of his life, starting at the time of his HIV-positive diagnosis. This period coincides with the creation of his legendary garden Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, Kent, whose cultivation was both a form of therapy and a metaphor for his own survival.
Language, conveying primal rage, is central to this show. It is expressed and assaults us in his Queer paintings series (1992), not hung but truly “installed” in the Crédac art space. Words are part of the paintings Spread the Plague, Tragedy, Aids Blood and Virus, where their quavering lines ruin the surface. This series is a process, as are the Super 8 films projected opposite the paintings. This show brings out Jarman’s interest in alchemy, assemblage and his collection of objects found washed up on the Dungeness beach.
Accompanying the exhibition is a showing of his films at the Ivry cinema, Le Luxy, and a publication in a co-edition with the fanzine Pleased to meet you.
A series of talks also punctuates the exhibition from October through December, with Theodora Domenech (PhD in philosophy), Marco Martella (writer, gardener and member of the Institut européen des jardins et des paysages), Elisabeth Lebovici (PhD in aesthetics, art critic), Benoît Piéron (artist) and Didier Roth‑Bettoni (jour‑nalist, author, historian of LGBTQI+ film).
(Programme still under construction.)
Claire Le Restif
Curator of the exhibition, in collaboration with Amanda Wilkinson and James Mackay
1 Place Pierre Gosnat, 94200 Ivry-sur-Seine, France