Irineu Destourelles’ Unturning presents two new video works, exploring the legacy of Thatcherism policies and its influence on current political discourse and personhood. The exhibition is Destourelles’ second solo-show in Scotland, following Tainted Verbal at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (April – May 2017).
Destourelles was born in the Cape Verdian Islands, a former colony of the Portuguese empire until 1975. As a child he emigrated to Lisbon, growing up in the aftermath of dictatorship (1926-1974). Mindful of dialectics and dichotomies of colonial narratives, Destourelles works across different media, using the interstices between painting, text and moving image to explore his experiences of place, observing, scrutinizing and reflecting on social practices and media culture, focusing on othering and desire.
From his home in Lisbon, he came to learn about UK politics, understanding Margaret Thatcher as a radical and mighty figure, modernizing Britain at whatever social cost to reinforce and expand market driven policies. Destourelles, now a resident of Scotland, who has also lived in London, analyses and explores the effects the Thatcher years continue to have on UK politics.
Individual recollection and opinion, are brought to the fore, in the film Mr Butterwick Remembers Mrs Thatcher. Destourelles interviewed a Fife ex-coalminer, about the harsh decline of industry during Thatcher’s premiership, and the effects on livelihoods, families and communities. The film is direct, unmasking the artifice of governance, to address personal representation, memory and articulation as well as addressing the emergence of an ‘underclass’ within British society as a result of the breakdown of working-class communities. This interview-work informs the text-based video, Glossary of Political Words, displaying alternative definitions of political terms. The proposed definitions are often ironic, ethically problematic and play with the cyclical struggle between Left and Right.
Preview Friday 16th June 2017, 19:00- 21:00
Artist Irineu Destourelles and journalist Neil Cooper in conversation, chaired by curator Holly Knox Yeoman
Saturday 15 July 2017, 16:00-18:00, Red Lecture Theatre
Join Irineu Destourelles, Holly Knox Yeoman and Neil Cooper for an informal in-conversation event on the socio-political threads and intersections of art and politics. Please RSVP at Eventbrite
Irineu Destourelles lives and works in Edinburgh. He studied at Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, and Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London. Selected exhibitions include A Glimmer of Freedom, apexart Unsolicited Exhibition Programme, Tarrafal Concentration Camp, Santiago, Cape Verde (2017), Being and Becoming: Complexities of the African Identity, UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa (2016), and Autoestrangeirismo, Atelier Concorde, Lisbon (2014).
Holly Knox Yeoman is a curator, based in Glasgow. As curator of Summerhall, Edinburgh, (January 2015 – August 2016, selected artists included Laure Prouvost, Hermann Nitsch, and David Sherry. Selected independent projects include SUNSET STRIP CARROT DANGLE, curatorial commission for LeithLate, June 2017, featuring Stephanie Mann and David Sherry, Whitney McVeigh’s sound installation 6857 Days, House of St Barnabas Chapel, London, 2017, and From The Ether_NET, featuring work by Michelle Hannah and Will Kendrick, co-curated with Giulia Colletti and Aoife Power, NAF! Nail Salon, Glasgow, 2016.