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b.1992, Stoke-on-Trent (UK)

e: joshvyrtz@gmail.com 

w: joshvyrtz.com

i: @joshvyrtz

t: +44 (0)7984483083

Education

2018   MA Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art (UCL), London.

2015   BA Fine Art, Goldsmiths (University of London).

2012   Foundation in Art and Design, Leeds Collage of Art. 

Exhibitions

2019   Gisa Crack, AMP Gallery, London UK

2019   BF Artists Film Festival IX, GRAFT, Lancaster UK

2019   Mellifluous Elephant, Donna Laura Gallery, Lisbon PT

2018   im sorry i was late, SETSETSET Gallery Dalston, London UK

2018   If Civilisation, Bar Bados Project Space (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Edinburgh UK (w/ Axel Berger)

2018   Authentic Tong, Bloomsbury Theatre, London UK

2018   It was me, Elmer Projects, London UK

2017   PLUG FAIR / Through a glass, darkly., Bristo Square Promanade (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Edinburgh UK.

2017   Have you seen this woman?, Chalton Gallery, London UK (w/ Axel Berger)

2017   I conversed with the spiritual sun that I saw them, Primrose Hill Park, London UK (cur. with Eom Jeongwon)

2015   Above the chamber, Menier Gallery, London UK

2015   I love the water, Gallery of HFBK (Hochschule für bildende Künste), Hamburg GE

2015   You Have Got My Bone, Old Foyles Building, London UK

 

Residencies

2019   Mellifluous Elephant, Donna Laura Gallery, Lisbon PT

2017   FAR A FIELD, Slade School of Fine Art, London UK

2015   Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg GE

Shortlisted

2018   Kaitak Centre, Hong Kong HK

2017   Red Mansion Art Prize, Beijing CHN

Statement

I am an artist based in London and Stoke-on-Trent, working across performance, film, writing and image-making. I use the archetype of the performer to engage with social issues. The bulk of my time is spent on research; I approach a new project from two sides - one that is journalistic and, simultaneously, one that is deeply personal and autobiographical.


As a performer, I oscillate between emotive states such as panic, awkwardness, and vulnerability. I am ludic. Energetic. Intense. My work employs a deconstructionist model of appropriation, sourcing contemporary figures, cultures, and technologies to create an aesthetic language that is chaotic, farcical and, at times, tragic.


My 2018 work, ‘Switzerland’, was devised in response to the revelations brought forward by the #metoo movement, specifically the case of actor Kevin Spacey. ‘Switzerland’ imbues a growing awareness of the ominous failure of contemporary male role-models, using the inanimate format of a terracotta garden gnome found whilst researching my late father's heritage. Drawing upon the walking in the footsteps of my father cannon, ‘Switzerland’  re-appropriates this prolific genre and gears it towards a performance of vulnerability. Hikari Yokoyama said about this performance, ‘Even though there were only four of us in this small hot room, he gave so much in the performance. At one point he was rollerblading around the tiny room with the speed and conviction of Tanya Harding about to do a triple axel. He awkwardly jumped up and the skates clacked against the floor when he landed, his ankles wobbled, he almost fell, it was so vulnerable and yet heroic. Will never forget that moment.'


My 2017 work ‘PLUG FAIR / Through a glass, darkly.’ takes the form of a corrupted walking tour in which a group of up to 15 individuals are led through a series of public spaces by a guide with a laptop taped to his head; his actions are accompanied by audio assistance through wireless headphones. Through this immersive experience, audiences are encouraged to re-assess their collective relationship within the public realm and consider the underlying systems that govern environments.


I have created a number of works in collaboration with Swedish artist, Axel Berger. Struck by the asymmetry and questionable ethics of global resource distribution, our 2018 work ‘If Civilisation’ plays on the real potential for humans to carry, feed and support each other without the need for tools. But that which seems at first to be both utilitarian and constructive quickly appears remarkably similar to exploitation. Body techniques, simple props, a lurid soundscape and a methodology of laziness are employed to render an immersive work that takes aim at the imperialistic capitalist system. 'What I experienced was the opposite of being bored. It was a much-deserved morbid curiosity that I am glad to have witnessed.' Ed Fringe Review.
 

© Josh Vyrtz 2019