James Barrett and Robin Forster

  1. James Barrett and Robin Forster –Trading in Futures - Press release
  2. Visible Secrets: An Essay on AIDS and Seeing - Simon Watney
Trading in Futures

1 November - 30 November 1992

Rear Window, 58 Lambs Conduit Street, London WC1

In a private space the viewer is confronted by a grid of twelve perfect plinths. But this is not a minimal show more a method of presentation. Locked inside are endlessly repeated images of human skin tissue. In the game of classification and identification the viewer refers to their own body, to the endless interplay between the irrational mystery of the body and the social codification of its parts. But thee are no clues or messages.

Trading in Futures is like an old Chinese prediction game for the body where the power of science and the fear of decay are thrown randomly together to construct different images and parabolas of meaning around the viewer’s own experience and the charged but empty spaces in the gallery itself.

Extract of the catalogue:

“With their manufactured quality and absence of classical art materials, our works bear little resemblance to traditional fine art, and are more reminiscent of the display stands and bunting typically used to foreground the cultural and material value of consumer good and “pernicious” fine art objects. But while the formal and often minimalist aspects of our work is informed by recent neo-pop and re-presentational concerns around dislocated, post-modern identities, their structure is intended to be integral to—rather than a replacement for—the subject matter within the works.

The content is of paramount importance to us, and is addressed through icons that resonate with meaning, so we would expect the subject matter to be readily identifiable. But we have avoided expressionist approaches as the audience should not have to decipher our personal intentions out of gestural clues that we may have left for them. We would not hold to their being any intrinsic message in the works themselves, instead we would hope that people viewing the works might take personal responsibility for reflecting on the specific interpretations that they themselves bring to the pieces. What you see is what you get.”

James Barrett and Robin Forster

An Open Seminar will take place on Sunday 15 November at 5pm. Speakers include: Writer Simon Watney, artist Hermione Wiltshire and curator Peter Cross.

James Barrett and Robin Forster have worked together for three years and shown regularly through the Stockwell Independent Artist Group. This is their first exhibition together.

James Barrett and Robin Forster James Barrett and Robin Forster
James Barrett and Robin Forster

James Barrett Robin Forster, Trading in Futures, installation view, mixed media, 1992, Photo: D. Martin

Early Days

James Barrett Robin Forster, Trading in Futures, detail, transparency, 1992, Photo: Barrett-Forster