‘In Duncan Campbell’s hands, history is not a search for truth; it’s a quest for understanding. Accumulating fragments of reportage, he makes films that reactivate arbitrated versions of the past to examine how histories are rehearsed and mediated through contradictory and unreliable representations. In this manner he reveals the ways in which our understanding of the present is formed from a subjective history’
Lisa Lefeuvre, British Art Show 2011 catalogue.
‘…seeing the past through the prism of the present might just warp it further. But in our moment, the past is never allowed to be just the past’.
Martin Herbert, A Voice, Not Your Own, FVU catalogue on Duncan Campbell
Hotel presents its second show with Duncan Campbell. Duncan Campbell was born in Ireland in 1972 and has lived in Glasgow since moving there to study at the School of Art in 1996.
At Hotel Campbell is presenting a film that focuses around the German economist Johannes (Hans) Tietmeyer (born in 1931 in Metelan, North Rhine –Westphalia, Germany). In the 60s Tietmeyer begun his career in the Federal Ministry of Economics and eventually became president of the Bundesbank (from 1993 to 1999). Tietmeyer led a remarkable career and is currently vice-chairman of the board of directors of Bank for international Settlements. His legacy, however, is particularly associated with the monetary unification of Europe as well as the formation of the euro itself. Campbell is fascinated by Tietmeyer being a man from a poor background, who rose to the top of his field becoming economist described as ‘the dogged defender of the Deutschmark’ Campbell is also using a recent historical figure to examine the present – what the euro means now to countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal and presently Italy – and how archive material, historical perspective, political desire and fiction all combine to form a portrait of an individual.
Campbell’s new film follows Make It New John, (2009) which traced the formation and collapse of the famous DeLorean car company in Belfast, and Bernadette (2008), a multi award winning portrait of Bernadette Devlin, the youngest female MP in British history and a compelling and passionate voice in the Northern Irish troubles of the late 60 and early 70s.
Solo exhibitions include: The Model, Sligo, Ireland; Make it New John, Artists Space, New York; Tramway, Glasgow, 2010. Make It New John, Chisenhale, London; Duncan Campbell, Ludow 38, New York; Duncan Campbell, Kunstverien Munich; Bernadette, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh and Tate Britain, London; Bernadette and Sigmar, MUMOK, Vienna all 2009. Bernadette, Hotel, London and Baltic, Gateshead both 2008. Group shows include, The British Art Show 7 (touring), Critical Fetishes, Centro de Arte dos de Mayo, Madrid; Asking Not Telling ICA, Philadelphia; Fight the Power, Reina Sofia, Madrid all 2009.