NEWS: John Kippin exhibitions @ NGCA | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Ionic by John Kippin

Sunderland’s Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art will showcase two exhibitions of work by Newcastle-based artist and photographer John Kippin from this month.

Kippin is widely renowned as a central figure in the emergence of photography as an independent art form in the UK. Currently a chairperson of the visual arts group Locus+, and previously a member of the prominent Basement Group, Kippin has been influential in gaining an audience for new media in the visual arts and has received widespread acclaim for his photography work.

In Based on a True Story: Works 1984-2018 (exhibited from Saturday 30th June until Sunday 23rd September), nine leading scholars and curators have selected work from Kippin’s archive. Famous for images which offer an alternative view of post-industrial landscapes, his work is often concerned with national and regional identity; images such as Hidden, which depict a crashed jet fighter surrounded by English countryside (used on the cover of Suede’s album Sci-Fi Lullabies) poses many questions for the viewer, from the power of the state over our lives, to how we see ourselves in society.

Also exhibited at the gallery until Sunday 24th June is Romanitas, a new body of work created in Rome since 2012 which reflects on politics today. Photographing the empty monuments and streets of the EUR zone, a failed fascist project intended to become Rome’s ‘new’ centre, the images take what could be seen as architectural masterpieces and palatial arenas for dictators now lived in by ordinary people, depicting the everyday lives and troubles of a world continuing to deal with the far right. Also as part of the exhibition, a brand new sound work – No Photos, No Video – captures the chaos of the tourist’s experience visiting the Vatican.

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