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Common Culture is a collaborative art group that consists of Mark Durden and David Campbell, from University of Ulster. Since 2006, Ian Brown from Staffordshire University has joined the group. All contribute equally to projects. Common Culture were invited to participate in this Biennale with a series of 8 largescale colour portraits of Bouncers. The photographs stem from performance and video-based work that is collectively titled Pop Trauma in which they isolate the acts of nightclub entertainers and workers, turning their labour into spectacles— where pleasure and consumption on the part of the viewer is disrupted by moments of social awkwardness and embarrassment. The Pop Trauma work is represented in a specially- designed monograph, ISBN 10 0 95517631X, commissioned by Void gallery, Derry, and launched at The Photographers’ Gallery, London, in April 2007. For the performance, 15 bouncers were hired to adopt and maintain a confrontational geometric configuration in the gallery for the duration of the opening night of the exhibition. Drawing upon the rhetoric of Minimalism, the piece is meant as an aggressive work, impolite in relation to the viewing public. The photographic portraits of the bouncers, extend and magnify their hard, public front, presents us with a look that is integral to their working identity. The performance of Bouncers first took place at the Art Gallery and Museum, The Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa in January 2005 and at Void, Derry, November 2006. The latter was reviewed by Sally Timmons for the Visual Artists Ireland Review Supplement, December 2006. The photographs have been shown as part of a solo show at Focal Point Gallery, Southend on Sea, 2005 and in Belfast’s The Third Space, 2006. With an award from the V & A they have been purchased for the permanent public collection in The Royal Pump Rooms.
Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China, pp.
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