Originally from Ireland, after moving to London to study at the Royal College of Art, James Parkin ended up staying.
His practice is grounded in the material and philosophical potentialities of the image culture of his everyday surroundings. For example his most recent work, Folding News, available here on Open Doors, takes as its starting point, the surfeit of imagery available in free London newspapers. Of which a staggering, one million plus are distributed every weekday in London.
Using his own and others imagery: deconstruction of photographic genres, returning to historical events and tactile interventions with the surface of the photograph are central to what he does.
Folding News began in 2015. It recently exhibited at And Gallery (London) and The Glucksman (Ireland). Each fold serves as an index of an emerging present.
In the summer of 1988 due to the inaccuracies in their history books, all Russian school children had their history exams cancelled. In such ambivalent times, if people were asked to describe current events where would they turn?
“Quantity has a quality all its own.”
– Joseph Stalin
There’s much written about how ‘absolute capitalism’ has leaked into all forms of our current existence. Even in our ‘free time’ when our hands are busy flicking through copious amounts of imagery our actions have become monetised. This drive towards abstraction (where work isn’t really work anymore) serves I believe, to cloud our recognition of the mechanisms that attempt to shape our perspective of things. After all, if you can’t begin to it? The abundance and speed of imagery only serves to reinforce this ‘disorientation.’ (Franco Bifo Berardi)
I started in 2015, cutting out individual newspaper images and folding them. Each is date stamped with the date of the newspapers publication. Each is organised into various categories.
Folding News offers a sense of the obvious and invisible mechanisms that attempt to manipulate our outlook on things.