Mark Leckey: As If

EXHIBITION 30.01 – 31.05.15

Although his oeuvre spans little more than 15 years, British artist Mark Leckey (born in 1964) is already considered a reference for a young generation of artists. After his studies he withdrew from the art world for nearly a decade. In 1999, with the video Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, compiled from found footage, he found his way back to art. This ode to British dance culture from northern soul to rave is considered one of the most iconic works on the intersection of visual art and popular culture – a field of interest that Leckey has addressed in much of his subsequent work. Today, Leckey’s interest lies in the exploration of digital technologies and their impact on the relationships between people, objects, and environments.

The exhibition's layout at Haus der Kunst is structured according to four chapters: The show opens with autobiographical works – from "Are You Waiting" (1996), a precursor to "Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore", to "MyAlbum: A Rough-Demo Video," (2014-15) a filmed autobiography, which is premiered as a demo version. Mark Says Leckey: "'MyAlbum' is a record of all the events in my life during the twentieth century that I feel were significant. It is a memoir from 1954 until 1999." In the central space, all five of the artist's "Sound Systems" (2001–12) are presented for the first time as an ensemble. The speaker towers have their origins in mobile discotheques and have been a recurring element in Leckey's work since the early 2000s. Leckey understands music in general, and his "Sound Systems" in particular, as alternative communication channels: "Music speaks to everyone and art doesn't […]. I just don't understand why art can't be a language that can be understood universally." The "Sound Systems" form the exhibition's control center; they are linked to the other works and rooms in the exhibition through an electronic circuit, and connect them as if they were a quasi-living organism. In the third space the exhibition continues with the installation "GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction" (2010) – a speaking refrigerator that shares its thoughts and living environment with viewers. In the videos and films of the fourth section, "ZooVidTek", sculptural objects – in the shape of a cat, a rabbit, a duck, and a dog – are brought to life by means of digital slideshows or computer animations. In doing so, Leckey casually illustrates groundbreaking episodes of twentieth-century media history. As in other instances in the exhibition, the titular "as if" also defines these works: The (filmed) objects and sculptures that the visitor encounters here are not what they seem to be; they are duplicates and fakes that Leckey treats as if they were the real thing.

The starting point of all his works is the attraction that brands and products, as well as images and works of art, exercise upon us. The artist translates this pull into formative and entertaining reflections on our time.

Supported by

Cultural partner
m94,5

Mark Leckey, trailer for
Mark Leckey, trailer for "On Pleasure Bent", 2013 (videostill), Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York; Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne; and Cabinet, London
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, As If, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2015, photo Maximilian Geuter
Mark Leckey, Felix Gets Broadcasted, 2007 (Production still), Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York; Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne; and Cabinet, London
Mark Leckey, Felix Gets Broadcasted, 2007 (Production still), Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York; Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne; and Cabinet, London

Stretch your view


Stretch your view

Picture Gallery


Exhibition catalogue

Mark Leckey

Catalogue of the exhibition "Mark Leckey: As If". MORE


Video

Exhibition film

Video on the exhibition "Mark Leckey: As If" – with Mark Leckey and curator Patrizia Dander. MORE


In the press

Reviews on Mark Leckey

On this page you will find press reviews about Mark Leckey and his art, which is positioned between pop culture, consumerism, and technology. MORE


Video

Mark Leckey: BigBoxIndustrialAction

In this video you will hear both the artist's and curator Clare Gannaway's thoughts about the piece and performance "BigBoxIndustrialAction". MORE


Poster

Mark Leckey: As If

MORE


Video

Mark Leckey: Interview on "Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore"

In the interview Mark Leckey explains the development of his autobiographical work "Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore" (1999). MORE


Interview

Dan Fox: Aspiring to the Condition of Cheap Music

In an in-depth interview, Dan Fox and Mark Leckey discuss the artist's early works. MORE


Essay

Alex Kitnick: Everybody's Autobiography

In his catalogue essay, Alex Kitnick looks at Mark Leckey as an archivist of past lifestyles and fads. MORE


Video

Mark Leckey: UCLA Department of Art Lecture

In the recording of a lecture Mark Leckey gave at the University of California, Los Angeles, the artist speaks about the art and themes that inspired his works. MORE


Worksheets

Worksheet on "Mark Leckey: As If"

Here you find the worksheet on the exhibition "Mark Leckey: As If" for different school classes MORE


Poster

Mark Leckey: As If

MORE


Video

Feature on the exhibition "Mark Leckey: As If"

Here you find the feature on the exhibition "Mark Leckey: As If" by Bayerisches Fernsehen/Capriccio MORE


Text, Video

Mark Leckey: Work descriptions

Here you will find videos and descriptions of selected artworks by Mark Leckey. MORE


Essay

Patrizia Dander: A Desire for Things

In her essay, curator Patrizia Dander returns to Mark Leckey's 2004 exhibition "Septic Tank". MORE


Video, Artist Talk

Mark Leckey: Artist talk and sound performance

29.01.15

The exhibition "As If" by Mark Leckey opened with a tweetup, an opening talk, and a sound performance in the exhibition spaces. MORE