Most of what’s passing for information right now is total fiction. I try to turn the lie back on itself.
Gagosian is pleased to announce two exhibitions by Richard Prince in London, Early Photography, 1977–87 at the Grosvenor Hill gallery and The Entertainers at the Davies Street gallery, both opening on October 5, 2023. The exhibitions feature many of Prince’s iconic cowboy, girlfriend, and advertisement photographs, some of which have not previously been exhibited in the city. The Davies Street gallery hosts the complete series The Entertainers (1982–83), a rarely seen set of manipulated photographs taken in the bars, clubs, and restaurants of New York’s Times Square that captures the location’s sleazy glamour, and the gallery at Grosvenor Hill features works from several other series.
Collecting, chronicling, and repurposing examples of discomfiting mainstream humor alongside images from a variety of mass media, Prince chronicles the intersection of America’s vernaculars and subcultures in the construction of its national identity. In 1977, he began using a process of “rephotography” to appropriate shots from advertising and lifestyle press, redefining the concepts of authorship and originality—an approach he would later extend to include social media. A conscious elision of the aims and techniques of traditional picture-making, the technique allows Prince to redirect the authority of a visual referent. “When you put an already existing image in front of a camera,” he explains, “you know what you’re going to get. You’ve taken out the decisive moment.”
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