doggerfisher is delighted to be exhibiting new work by Nathan Coley.
Coley frequently explores physical and social notions of public space, his skill lies in his ability to draw out themes that resonate with our experience of both the real and imagined wider world. Coley is propelled by a curiosity in the ‘ownership’ of space. In his exhibition at doggerfisher, Coley presents a series of obstacles as if to mark out boundaries. Some may suggest a sense of trespass, further barriers appear to assert an exclusion zone.
On entering the gallery, a threshold made of oak is encountered; then a seemingly insubstantial barricade, reminiscent of a makeshift street barricade, channels you through the space. Its structure partially obscures the view of what lies beyond.
Beyond are images of confession boxes. Entitled Annihilated Confessions, their elaborate form has been further obscured and near-obliterated with a harsh spray of enamel paint: access has been denied to the enclosed, private space designated as a place for the admission of sins. Here Coley is acknowledging everything from time-honoured, casual vandalism to desecration and iconoclasm. Perhaps today there is greater engagement with confessional TV and live admission of guilt than private confession? And as if to underscore the supposed dilemmas of our times, Coley’s Secular Icon in an Age of Moral Uncertainty presents a garish assortment of fairground lights. They make no attempt to provide meaningful signage or a readable image: they just shine.
In a previous work from 2000, Coley became the unofficial artist-in-residence at Kamp Zeist, in The Netherlands for the duration of the Lockerbie trial. In a further work, Coley made cardboard models of all the places of worship listed in Edinburgh’s Yellow Pages. His The Lamp of Sacrifice, 286 Places of Worship Edinburgh 2004 transformed elaborate cathedral through to modest meeting house into handmade, uniformly tan-coloured structures. The work was recently exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. Coley has been shortlisted for this year’s Turner Prize.
Nathan Coley’s light piece We Must Cultivate Our Garden is on view on the rooftop of 9 – 10 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, as part of Six Cities Design Festival, until 2 September.
Nathan Coley (born 1967) studied at Glasgow School of Art. Recent solo exhibitions include There Will Be No Miracles Here, Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute (2006); Haunch of Venison, London; Jerusalem Syndrome, Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee (2005) and The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2004). Recent group shows include Breaking Step – Displacement, Compassion and Humour in Recent British Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia curated by The British Council; Off The Wall : Floor and Ceiling Based Works in the Collection of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Northern City (Between Light and Dark), The Lighthouse, Glasgow (2007); A Cidade Interpretada, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2006) The British Art Show, Baltic, Gateshead and touring (2005) and Days Like These, Tate Triennale (2003). Future exhibitions include The Turner Prize, Tate Liverpool (Oct-Dec 2007) Santa Fe Biennale and a solo show at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea (2008). Nathan Coley lives and works in Glasgow.