Mark Titchner is an artist based in South London. Over the last two decades he has used language in various forms to explore ideas about belief systems, be they religious, scientific or political. During this period much of his practice has focussed on working in the public realm, on the streets and in spaces that we share with others such as hospitals, stations and libraries. This exhibition at DKUK is an extension of this interest.
Titchner has a long-term fascination with the relationship between the language of self-help and self improvement and in particular the point at which this kind of language intersects with the language of control and authority. In this installation entitled ‘Routine’ the viewer is confronted with a series of mirror-sized artworks each presenting a short affirmation of the kind commonly found in self-help programmes. The statements in their original context are designed to reinforce self-esteem of the reader, acting as a series of internalised mantras to carry through the difficulties and challenges of life. However when presented visually en masse these aphorisms are suggestive of a presence that is potentially more oppressive. They remind us of the pressure placed on the individual in our society to conform to a certain psychological stereotype and this is reinforced by the phenomena of happiness and well-being as a contemporary industry.
This series of prints is complemented by an earlier video work, also entitled ‘Routine’ which combines these texts with footage culled from early Windows screensavers and rhythmic clapping.
He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006, participated in the Venice Biennale in 2007 and was Artist in Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto in 2012. In 2018 he completed a major new permanent public work, ‘Me, Here Now’ which is installed at London Bridge Station. His work is held in numerous Public Collections including Arts Council, Tate, British Council, Government Art Collection, South London Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Guildhall Art Gallery.