Duncan Campbell

March 7–April 19, 2009

Ludlow 38 is proud to present the first solo show of Irish artist Duncan Campbell in New York.

In his film and video works, Duncan Campbell assesses the rhetoric of youth and liberation movements as well as those of documentary aesthetics. By loosely combining material from film, photographic archives, and on-screen animation, Campbell builds a backdrop for portraits of people and social milieus by fusing these documentary and fictitious moments. While the films Bernadette (2008) and Falls Burns Malone Fiddles (2003) focus primarily on the socio-political situation of Belfast in Northern Ireland, Campbell’s new 16mm film Sigmar (2008), to be presented at Ludlow 38, introduces new topics and aspects of his work.

Sigmar (2008) begins as animation and is accompanied by snippets of German language voiceovers. While a male narrator mumbles in a manner which draws reminiscence of a Surrealist spoken-word performance, the dimensions of a room are drawn and the camera moves from left to right over a variety of textures. The animation is fused with documentary footage and guitar music. As the formal aspects of the animation and the title of the work suggest, one is led to believe that the ‘conversation’ unfolding stems from an imaginary encounter between two artists: Campbell himself and Sigmar Polke.

A series of screen prints in the front space of the gallery accompany the presentation of the film.

Duncan Campbell completed an MFA at the Glasgow School of Art in 1998, and a BA in Fine Art at the University of Ulster in 1996. He lives and works in Glasgow. Solo exhibitions include the Kunstverein Munich (2009); Bernadette, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh (2009) and The Unnamable, Lux at Lounge, in London (2006). His work has also been shown at the Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina in Naples (2007), at the Tate Britain in London (2006), and at the Manifesta 5 in San Sebastian (2004).