Drawing Biennial 2019

Exhibition & online fundraising auction of over 200 unique works on paper

Exhibition: 20 February – 26 March · Auction: 11 March 10am – 26 March 9.30pm


Jesse Darling

Pinoc (you wanna be a real boy, don’t you?)

Year 2018
Medium Pencil on paper
Dimensions 29.7 x 21 cm
Bidding Open Mon 11 March, 2019 at 10:00am
Bidding Ended Tue 26 March, 2019 at 9:30pm

About the work:

Pinocchio was just a puppet but he wanted to be real. Specifically: a real boy. Born to a carpenter like Jesus, Pinocchio - a born liar - extended his prosthetic nose through telling stories. With his mouth full of tall tales it was like a permanent erection screwed into a hole in his face. Pinocchio's original author, Carlos Collodi, described this as follows: "to hide the truth of a speculum animae (mirror of the soul) face [ ... ] is added to the true nose another [...] nose".
A tragic hero, his story was taken up by the great modernist imperialist Walt Disney who gave him a way out of his abjection through the cartesian paradigm, i.e., separate from his own body. A cricket, known by the euphemistic name of Christ, comes in and out to remind him to keep himself straight. For all of us who also long to be[come] real boys, Pinocchio is both a success story and a cautionary tale. 

About the artist:

Jesse Darling (b. 1985, UK) lives and works in Berlin and London. Graduated from MFA Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, London (2014) and BA Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London (2010). Darling has been selected for commissions by Volksbühne, Berlin (2018); MoMA, Warsaw (2014–16); and the Serpentine Galleries, London (2015). Other projects include a special project for Artforum (2018) and the curation of a group show, Mene Mene Tekel Parsin, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (2017). They have published texts in print and online including The Best British Poetry, Salt Publishing (2015) and Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the 21st Century, MIT Press (2015). Select solo exhibitions include The Ballad of Saint Jerome, Tate Britain, London (2018-19); Support Level, Chapter, New York (2018); Armes Blanches: History is Other People, Galerie Sultana, Paris (2017); The Great Near, Arcadia Missa, London (2016); Not Long Now, Lima Zulu, London (2014); and Stockholm Syndrome and Other System Failures, Arcadia Missa, London (2012). Select group exhibitions include Post-Institutional Stress Disorder, Kunsthal Aarhus, Aarhus (2018-19); À Cris Ouverts, Les Ateliers de Rennes Biennale d’Art Contemporain, Rennes (2018); Give Up the Ghost, Baltic Triennial 13, Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn (2018); Cellular World, GoMA @ Glasgow International, Glasgow (2018); more of an avalanche, Wysing Art Centre, Cambridge (2018); Occasional Geometries, Longside Gallery/ Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (2017); Command-Alternative-Escape, 57th Venice Biennale, Venice (2017); Turn the Tide, RCA, London (2017); and Bread and Roses, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2016).