widows and orphans
james shovlin

For its fifth major commission DKUK is proud to present Widows and Orphans by Jamie Shovlin, named after a typesetting term for isolated phrases without context. Responding to the salon environment, that bares the traces of stories, secrets and chitchat, Shovlin has created a show that foregrounds editorial fragmentation and subjective interpretation within modes of historical reflection.

The video Scroll (Placeholder Version) (2011-6) reconstructs the secondary school textbook A History of the Modern World generating an irreverent reinterpretation of its content, and western history at large. Shovlin has compiled a narrative taken from twelve editions of the book, first published in 1950, using only sections underlined or annotated. The resulting script gives us a fragmented history of the modern world and also highlights how attitudes have changed to history over the course of the late 20th C.

DKUK finally gets mirrors! Lost in the Flood (2009), presents a series of screen printed mirrors that reproduce a 1969 Life magazine pictorial, documenting the preceding decade. Printed so that the reflections of DKUK complete each image, the present seamlessly blends with historical fragments from ‘the decade of tumult and change.’

A collection of drawings from the artist’s on-going series, Widows and Orphans, hang on the walls of the salon, evoking customary stock hairstyle imagery. Each work reproduces a Roman copy of a Greek sculpture. Shovlin has drawn the sculpture from further reproductions in an analogue to the piecemeal history related by Scroll.

Jamie Shovlin (b.1978) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2003. Previous exhibitions include ‘Hiker Meat’ (2014), Cornerhouse, Manchester, ‘How most of what you know is reconstruction’ (2013), Southampton City Art Gallery and ‘Various Arrangements’ (2012), Haunch of Venison, London. He will participate later this year in the 27th Brno Biennale.