7 July - 4 November 2018
In his imposing commission for Outset Study, which echoes the omnipresent construction sites of Elephant and Castle, Patrick Goddard questions ideas of authenticity. The work combines the cynicism of comic books, the melodrama of gothic imagery and the nostalgia of urban documentary photography. The earnestness of ‘hauntological’ concerns (the mourning and longing for an abandoned future – in this case architectural) is offset by more playful depictions of the artist’s role in gentrification, the fetishisation of urban degradation and the desperate middleclass search for authenticity.
Imagery includes white-washed shop windows and derelict urban spaces applied to plywood sheeting through a range of processes including mono-printing. Their scale references the wooden hoardings of building sites, and the comic book style figures on Perspex, cut into the surface of the board, resemble the skateboard stickers that often litter such hoardings.
Through this complex combination of references and material processes, Goddard considers the artist’s fetishisation of urban detritus, and the duplicity of celebrating whilst critiquing urban decline.
Following time spent studying in Outset Study, Goddard also references artists found within the library collection – stylistically drawing on the combines of Robert Rauschenberg, the freely-scribbled and graffiti-like works of Cy Twombly and the blackboard drawings of Tacita Dean. Goddard integrates these artistic canons into his work, gently mocking the heavy, historical hand of gestural painting, inherently bound up with the work’s more particular themes.
One comic book figure, styled on Goddard himself, is used as a motif throughout the work. His t-shirt reads ‘I crave the vitality of the past but all I got was this lousy t-shirt’. As in Goddard’s politically loaded video and performance works, this installation undermines its own authenticity with self-defeating black comedy.
Patrick Goddard is an artist and writer working in London. Completing an MFA at Goldsmiths University in 2011, he is currently studying for a doctorate at Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, in Fine Art practice. Recent shows include: Go Professional, Seventeen Gallery, London April-June 2017; Looking for the Ocean Estate, Almanac Projects, London, Nov-Dec 2016, Gone To Croatan, Outpost Gallery, Norwich, May-June 2015; Revolver II, Matt’s Gallery, London, November-December 2014.