Venue: Gallery
Dates: Friday 4 May - Saturday 9 June

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Donigan Cumming

Gallery

In collaboration with Ffotogallery, we are proud to present a major exhibition by the Canadian artist Donigan Cumming.

The exhibition includes four gallery-based work including two major video/dvd installations, 1 photographic and sound work and a series of photographic stills. A selection of Cumming's recent films will also be screened.

Cumming’s filmic installations can be contextualised within the framework of social documentary filmmaking. His work raises important questions concerning issues such as voyeurism, exploitation and representations of "truth" and "reality". His installations challenge the passive ways in which we respond and engage with such images and urge us to re examine our position and our collusion as viewer by revealing their highly manipulative construction.

The works are fuelled by a desire to give voice to those who can be said to exist outside representation. In order to achieve his aims Cumming has constructed a "community" of "actors" who regularly collaborate with the artist. His "community" often includes the old, physically disabled, alcoholic, homeless and mentally ill. The resulting films are provocative and insightful raising prevalent issues concerning the use and abuse of the documentary format, notions of collaboration within contemporary art practice and in a broader context the ways in which we represent and relate to those who exist on the margins of representation.

Whilst Cumming’s practice refers to the tradition of social documentary his work can also be read within the current framework and cultural addiction to different forms of "reality TV" - Jerry Springer, Big Brother, and docu-dramas. However his work is certainly not comfortable viewing: instead they provoke a wide range of emotional responses - from humour to outrage and from sympathy to disgust.

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