This May, American artist Mark Jenkins returns to London to unveil new works for his third solo exhibition at Lazinc. The show follows Jenkins’ success of his recent art installation, Project84, atop of London’s ITV building, raising awareness of male suicide. Jenkins, along with his collaborator, Sandra Fernandez, creates sculptural street installations that take the form of life-sized bodies, often interacting with the surrounding environment.
The physical casting process ordinarily uses either Mark or Sandra’s own bodies, essentially cloning themselves over and over in a very personal exercise before integrating the dark humoured and often sinister sculptures within an unassuming public space. The work is intended to explore the conventional process in which we experience and view artwork and the pedestrian boundaries between art and life.
“BRD SHT, the show’s title, nods to a license plate in the film Brewster McCloud. In the film, it was a murderous substance and while I understand here in the UK it’s good luck, for me I’ve always thought about the frequency birds do it as a condition for reducing weight to allow flight. It’s a useful metaphor to understand that our own ability to sustain flight mentally is a matter of reducing our own emotional baggage, or shit if you will.” - Mark Jenkins
The exhibition will be made up of nine sculptures, three canvases and works on paper. BRD SHT will include a fisherman figure hanging from the gallery’s exterior balcony fishing for passers-by and a number of idiosyncratic sculptures Jenkins is so well known for; ominous hooded figures, female twins joined from the top of their heads and leaning figures seemingly about to lose balance and fall into the unknown. One of the exhibition’s focal pieces is a bird figure crashed head first into the gallery floor, which serves as Jenkins’ physical representation of his BRD SHT metaphor.
Jenkins’ installations play with the relationships between sculpture and viewer. His plastic and tape figures engage with viewers on a very human level, both in the immediate physical sense and in a long term instigative manner. Jenkins’ practice was originally inspired by the late figurative sculptor Juan Muñoz, Aphex Twin and Albert Camus’ philosophies on the absurd.
Mark Jenkins has recently collaborated with Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga, producing a series of sculptures for new stores in major cities including London, Paris, Tokyo and Beijing.