Michael Fortune

FREE Gallery Talk: Chris Fite-Wassilak will discuss Michael Fortune’s work on Saturday 2nd April at 4pm

Michael Fortune borrows from the popular conventions of home video and snap photography, and in many ways his work can be seen as growing out of a tradition of social documentary and

anthropological film. In much of his video work the camera remains static, Fortune does not attach a commentary or analysis to the images, but instead allows them to be presented as primary source material.

Fortune’s work is primarily made in and about the specific rural community in the South East of Ireland where he was born, grew up and still lives. His enduring area of inquiry is the domestic landscape and the activities, superstitions and beliefs of those who inhabit it. Both humour and a sense of intimacy surface in the work as Fortune records stories and customs as told and enacted by local people, including his own family. In the multi-channel work We Invented Halloween, the annual Fortune Family custom of visiting grandmother’s house disguised as a ghoul is dispassionately documented over five years, subtly revealing both a sense of the absurd and the enduring strength of the family unit.

The commonplace can be made obscure though Fortune’s lens, which focuses on human invention, ingenuity and idiosyncratic behaviour. Unpacking the weekly shop for a multi-generational family with numerous pets becomes a study in controlled chaos and fervent activity in Hunter Gatherer. In another work, the impact of the smoking ban on the bingo-goers social evening has been circumvented by their collective decision to play the game from their cars, with the assistance of loudspeakers.

For his exhibition at Peer, Fortune will exhibit a selection of ten single and multi-channel video works, which have been produced over the last five years. This will be the first time that these works have been shown together outside of Ireland and is the most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK to date.

Duration 09 February 2011 - 02 April 2011
Times Open Wednesday to Saturday 12pm–6pm
Cost Free
Venue Peer
Address 97 & 99 Hoxton Street London N1 6QL, ,
Contact / info@peeruk.org / www.peeruk.org

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