Stuart Brisley: Georgiana Collection

Serpentine Gallery 10 Jan — 15 Feb 1987 Free

This exhibition marked the culmination of the Georgiana Collection – one of the key bodies of Stuart Brisley’s work from 1979-86.

Taking its title from the name of the street in London in which he was living at the time, Brisley conceived a fictitious art institution, the Georgiana Collection, comprising works in various media: photography, performance, video, tape/slide, sound, installation, and sculpture.

The street was itself the subject of the collection. Writing about it in 1991, Brisley asserted: “The Street was used as a lavatory, a bedroom, a rubbish tip, a playground, a boudoir, a battleground, an asylum. All this and more washed up and down, in and out of the less inhabited part of the street. In this ocassionaly [sic] glimpsed chaos, peripherally perceived, I picked up a camera and pointed it at things which had somehow or other arrived there. Some of those things were people.”

The works were concerned with notions of private and public territory; they were propositions that sought to comment on the nature of society and the potential – or inability – to enable change. The exhibition concentrated on sculpture and photography, and consisted primarily of new work.

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