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Word in the Desert I

Word in the Desert I, 2000/2008 - Mark Wallinger


about this work

For Word in the Desert I (2000/2008), Mark Wallinger has reissued a work from 2000 in a smaller version. The picture shows his alter-ego "Blind Faith" ( always with a white shirt, black trousers, black tie and sunglasses) at the grave of the drowned writer Percy Bysshe Shelley in Rome. By rotating the image 180°, Wallinger hangs upside down from the gravestone – like a bat waiting for the coming of the night (Shelley was married to Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein). The inscription on the stone, Ariel’s song from Shakespeare’s Tempest, is made legible by the rotation of the image: “Nothing of him that doth fade / But doth suffer a sea-change / Into something rich and strange”. The work thus recalls various ideas of life and death, transience and transformation and by simple means opens up multi-layered levels of meaning.

Word in the Desert I was published by GAK - Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst in Bremen in 2008.

about Mark Wallinger

°1959, Chigwell (UK) – lives and works in London (UK)

In his paintings, sculptures, videos, and installations, renowned artist Mark Wallinger references British history, class, politics, and iconic works of art. He focuses on the traditions and values of British society, its class system and organised religion. Refusing to adopt a signature style, Wallinger produces work that addresses his on-going preoccupation with “the politics of representation and the representation of politics”, as he often describes it.

Mark Wallinger has had numerous solo exhibitions worldwide, including shows at Tate Modern, London; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; and Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel. His work has been shown in several major group exhibitions, including venues such as K21, Düsseldorf; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Royal Academy, London. Wallinger has also represented the British Pavilion at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001 and participated at the 17th Biennale of Sydney in 2010. Mark Wallinger won the prestigious Turner Prize in 2007.

Mark Wallinger is represented by the following galleries; 
click through to discover more of his work. 

Hauser & Wirth, Zürich / London / Somerset / New York / Los Angeles 

carlier | gebauer, Berlin 

Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna 

Learn more about this artist