An exhibition of Artists Books, Prints and Multiples

Curated by David Faithfull

Essay by Giles Sutherland

12.09.09 – 18.10.09

DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery

Inkubator is a critically acclaimed travelling exhibition that was premiered at Edinburgh Printmakers in 2007 and conceived by artist and printmaker David Faithfull. Through highlighting the work created by a variety of contemporary national and international artists, it aims to broaden exposure and accessibility to the interconnected genres of Artists Books, Prints and Multiples, while satisfying one of the fundamental challenges associated with the ‘printed’ artefact.

What particular gallery environment or space can best represent the intentions of the artist and disseminate the particular conceptual and emotive qualities of their artwork?

With some of the key elements of these ‘editioned’ art-objects being accessibility and tactility, how can the artist/maker justify the normal curatorial practice of encapsulating these pieces behind glass, in a display case or at best handled with sterile white gloves under the watching eye of an invigilator?

The concept behind Inkubator originally, was to classify the 200 selected works according to three distinct but inter-related themes – The Study, The Log Cabin and The Landscape, presented on open display and available to be handled by visitors. This allowed a refreshingly direct, hands-on experience and thereby maintained the intentions of the artists in adopting these non-hierarchal visual formats of the Artists Book, Print and Multiple in the first place. 

For its next phase at the Durham Art Gallery, Inkubator evolved two additional themed spaces - the Bunker and the Hangar - incorporating artists with a particular connection to the North East of England.

Reflecting the proximity of the Gallery to the Durham Light Infantry Museum, these new rooms resonate with ideas of conflict, but not only in a military sense. Whilst presenting artists dealing with Iraq, the Cold War and Kosova, it also pays homage to Paula Virillio’s Bunker Archaeology, with the bunker as a metaphorical crypt or ark, also encapsulating a sense of the Nuclear Armageddon so evident in the apocalyptic landscapes of Chernobyl.

Artists involved include:

James Acord

David Bellingham

Helen Douglas

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Alec Finlay

Gary Goldstein

Uta Kogelsberger

Wiebke Loeper

Chad McCail

Ed Ruscha

Related article by Susan Mansfield, the Scotsman