National Day and other works
15 – 21 June 1981
David Troostwyk produces audio works for Radio and Cassette reproduction together with visual works in a variety of media. This present exhibition is an opportunity to understand the source and structure of his work. His most recent publication, NATIONAL DAY, available at the exhibition, contains many of the texts which form the basis of both his audio and visual works: it provides, for those who care to use it, a concise cross reference to many past and present works.
"In the selection of texts reproduced here, information is presented in a language that in modestly direct, economical and unrhetorical, and yet is sufficiently open-ended to allow the reader to make use of his/her own experience of the world in order to create meanings. Although the texts function as independent works, in most cases they have been translated into alternative forms of presentation. Some exist; as broadsheets, electronic newscaster, or book. Other texts have been used as soundtapes for cassette and radio broadcasting. Thus, the use to which the work has been put parodies many of the strategies of publicity, whilst simultaneously avoiding the exclusiveness of conventional art presentation.
"Although the work cannot be said to be overtly 'political', the implications within it nevertheless draw attention to divisive elements operating within society, which are inescapably rooted in established power relations. Troostwyk focuses particulary on attitudes towards 'possession' and 'territory', often expressed at the level of interpersonal relationship; 'NOT EVEN','PRIVATE ACT','OUR FAMOUS CULTURE'and 'MAN IN WOMAN' are observations on the way in which we formulate distinctions between 'self' and 'other'. 'BITTEN CAKE' and 'OUR FAMOUS CULTURE' further indicate that social separations are made through what each of us does/does not posses. Advertising, of course, reinforces these divisive tendencies by exploiting our desire for what is possessed by the imaginary 'other': it is this relationship in particular that is suggested by 'IMITATION'."
"Like those of advertising, these are predominantly 'visual' texts, and are punctuated moreover with references to 'fetishistic' emblems of advertising- skin, hair, shoe, food, rose. What remains fascinating about them is a deceptive ambivalence: what appears at first glance to generalised and prosaic gradually acquires a subtle and sensuous intimacy. The power of the texts lies in their ability to confront the reader with his/her experience of the culture through an unnerving sense of the private."