Games We Play: King's Cross
King’s Cross launches what will be one of the largest free and permanent outdoor exhibition spaces for photography and 2d works in London. The Outdoor Art Project will feature 15 2-meter wide concrete benches, each holding a double-sided frame for two artworks, installed all across the iconic King’s Cross estate, providing year-round, unhindered and free access to the highest calibre art and artists the city has to offer. The project kicks off on 27 July in a significant partnership with The Photographers’ Gallery: ‘Games We Play’ features the vibrant, visually arresting works of Julie Cockburn, Luke Stephenson and Weronika Gęsicka, offering witty and original takes on traditional leisure time and Summer activities.
In Games We Play three leading photographers seek to deconstruct and demystify idealised images of everyday life and leisure time.
Showing typical scenes of family outings, holidays, playtime and scenic views, Games We Play explores how embedded these representations have become in our national consciousness despite not reflecting the lived experience of so many of us.
All the selected works further show a fascination with archival images and myth-making. Weronika Gesicka and Julie Cockburn’s use existing photographic archives for their interventions blurring boundaries between truth and fiction; while Luke Stephenson creates his own versions, documenting the ’perfect’ 99 ice-cream as crafted by traditional British seaside ice cream van sellers or presenting British showbirds as a series of characterful portraits.
Although the works are laced with humour, wit, and visual conundrums, more complex, multilayered and pressing issues of identity, nationality, memory and history lie just under the surface.
Julie Cockburn (b. 1966, UK) is renowned for re-imagining and re-configuring found vintage photographs into meticulously constructed and unique contemporary artworks often using hand stitching, painting and objects. Rendering the original almost unrecognizable she opens up the work to new possibilities of narrative and interpretation.
Weronika Gesicka (b. 1984, Poland) makes projects about memory and its mechanisms. She is interested in the scientific and pseudoscientific theories, mnemonics and various disorders concerning it. Her images are often sourced from archive materials of various sources – image banks, police archives, old press photography or images found on the Internet.
Luke Stephenson (b. 1983, UK) is a London-based photographer with Britain and the British psyche at the core of his work. He photographs what to many epitomises the eccentricity of Britain. By combining his unique style of photography with the formal language of studio portraiture, the artist lends his photographed subjects an affectionate and often human presence.