In recent years London-based artist Peter Liversidge has become known for his polymathic approach to exhibition-making, inundating curators with pages of proposals which are sent via the post. The proposals start life on an old manual typewriter, typed at his kitchen table. Brimming with ideas for projects, performances and artworks that may or may not be made, the proposals invite the reader into the artist’s mind. Since 2006 Liversidge has worked in this peculiarly generous way with institutions across Europe, including the Tate Gallery, Liverpool; The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; the National Gallery of Finland and most recently the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, whose summer 2013 exhibition includes 68 such proposals tailored to the theme of Utopia.
For his exhibition at Ingleby Gallery for this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, Liversidge has typed a pair of proposals: an entire exhibition stemming (unusually for Liversidge) from a single thought – his fascination with a sequence of etchings by German Symbolist Max Klinger.
The series in question, known as Ein Handschuh, The Glove, was first published as a set of 10 etchings in 1881 and recounts the bizarre psycho-sexual adventures of a lady’s elbow length glove, dropped on a Berlin roller skating rink and picked up by the bearded figure of Klinger himself. The action that follows, in a series of dreams and nightmares, anticipates both the theories of Sigmund Freud and the hallucinatory style of the Surrealists.
Klinger’s theme is obsession: a visual poem on the madness and mania of love, the glove a lingering symbol of the artist’s desire for an unidentified woman about whom he knows nothing. In Liversidge’s hands the emphasis shifts and the story becomes a much wider one asking questions on the obsession of creativity and the workings of artistic imagination.
To view the full press release of the exhibition, click the link below.