” …Eros in Piccadilly at 6 in the morning.”
Justin Eagle’s reading of visual culture is through the appropriation of sign; “contemporary urban reality through symbols whose familiarity grants them a sort of invisibility in everyday life.” (Colin Perry writing on Justin Eagle). How one wears a scarf or shoe or what products we buy, used to define our identity. He works with and within his immediate environment. As Barthes characterizes the petit bourgeois as a person unable to imagine the other, the other a scandal, which threatens his existence, Eagle explores otherness as a reduction to sameness in contemporary culture.
Justin Eagle’s solo show at Vitrine Gallery presents a series of print works, including screen prints, collage and photographic prints. The exhibition brings together a collection of 2-d works with a larger site-responsive print installation. Cultural identity formed through the urban and its cultural signifiers, the sense of loss for another place and the duplication of romantic iconography are three entwined themes that run through ‘is he, isn’t she’. A longing is projected that sits simultaneously outside and within a capitalist structure.
Justin Eagle (b.1977) lives and works in London. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2004 and was artist in residence at The Florence Trust, London 2010-11. He had his first solo exhibition ‘A Solitary Cosmopolitan’ at Arena Gallery, Liverpool in 2010. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Florence Trust Summer Show’, London (2011); Fabricatecstasy, Studio 52 Hoxton Square, London (2011); ‘Monday Monday’ Cell Project Space, London (2010), ‘the milkplus bar’ Josh Lilley, London (2010), ‘TWIG’ Vitrine Gallery, London (2010) and ‘il alla a lai de l’ail’ Crimes Town, London (2010).
Paul Bayley has written a text to accompany this exhibition. Bayley is a London-based curator, writer and director of The Florence Trust. Formally he worked at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park and TATE Gallery and was director of exhibitions at Cornerhouse, Manchester.