BRAD DOWNEY

Brad Downey also works with urban interventions. However, his work differs from Harmen de Hoop’s in that it looks more like “art” and the commentary is often more explicit. While de Hoop avoids the traditional “white cube” of gallery spaces, reasoning that street art/intervention should be based on genuine public interaction, Downey plays with these exhibition spaces. The work is initially public – either bringing something unexpected into the urban environment, or using something from this space to create work. It is then taken back into a traditional “art space” (sometimes in the form of photography) and Downey retains ownership of the work.

Both from “Hotel L’Era De Can Burges” – 2014.

In “Hotel L’Era De Can Burges” furniture was taken from inside a huge hotel and neatly arranged in a conflicting space. Tension between where it should be and where it is. So large scale that a passer-by would have to actively move around it. Physically changes the space.

“Parasite space” – 2015
“Fence Hack” – 2015

“Parasite space” and “fence hack” are almost the opposite of “Hotel L’Era Du Can Burges” in that instead of bringing something into the space, pre-existing objects from the space are utilised to create the work. Interestingly, in the description for “Fence Hack” on the artist’s website, the materials are listed as “wood, mounting hardware, digitally printed photography mounted on woodboard”. This highlights the relationship between gallery and public space. Perhaps for Downey, the image/presentation of the work is the important part, rather than how it interacts with the space/viewer. This makes me question Downey’s relevance to intervention art/street installation. Although I do find his work interesting in terms of content, this idea of doing it to create visual ‘artworks’ isn’t so interesting conceptually.

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