Central to this exhibition will be a life-size replica of a motorway bridge that crosses the M53, close to Leckey’s childhood home. The bridge, a modernist concrete structure built when the artist was 4 years old, is a sort of temporal barometer. In the 1960s it represented a utopian future, by the 1970s it was falling into disrepair and by the 1980s – to Leckey’s mind at least – it was emblematic of a dystopian, even post-apocalyptic, future.
This bridge is a recurring motif in Leckey’s work and its replica will become the setting for his new audio play, a work inspired by folklore and his own childhood experiences. Music plays a huge part in Leckey’s work, too. ‘I’m continually doubting art’s place in the world,’ he said in an interview two years ago. ‘But I’m always convinced by music.’ Music, he says, makes you think, whereas art should be about making you feel. Fleeting clips of Beatles songs feature in one of his key video pieces Dream English Kid 1964 – 1999 AD (2015).
In a second seminal video work, entitled Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1990), Leckey uses footage taken from night clubs from the 1970s–1990s, including a Joy Division gig he attended as a teenager. Both are trippy compilations of images and sounds inspired by his youth, but sourced from the internet.
This is set to be a theatrical treat, nostalgic for some, disorientating for others, but dripping with atmosphere.
|What||Mark Leckey: O' Magic Power of Bleakness, Tate Britain|
|Where||Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Vauxhall (underground)|
24 Sep 19 – 05 Jan 20, Open daily 10.00 – 18.00 and until 22:00 for Late at Tate Britain on the first Friday of each month