Victor Burgin’s UK 76: Snapshots of British Society in the 1970s

Cut The Cost Of Living, UK76, Victor Burgin, 1976

Cut The Cost Of Living, UK76, Victor Burgin, 1976

The work of artist Victor Burgin is undergoing re-appraisal in the light of two exhibitions.

London’s Richard Saltoun Gallery marked the 40th anniversary of Burgin’s photo-text series UK76 by presenting the work in its entirety and in the form in which he showed his art in the 1960s and 70s: pasted onto the wall and scraped away at the end of the exhibition.

Meanwhile, in the New Year, John Hansard Gallery – the Southampton space where David Thorp and I staged the recent show Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges – mounted an exploration of Burgin’s engagement with the theories of philosopher Roland Barthes.

 

Victor Burgin

 

UK76 comprises eleven 1m x 1.5m photographic prints overlaid with text. Commissioned to produce the series by the National Community Development Project, Burgin subsequently added short captions using the language of contemporary British newspapers, advertisements and fashion magazines.

 

Victor Burgin Victor Burgin

 

Victor Burgin, “Any Moment,” (1970)

0
ANY MOMENT PREVIOUS TO
THE PRESENT MOMENT

1
THE PRESENT MOMENT AND
ONLY THE PRESENT MOMENT

2
ALL APARENTLY INDIVIDUAL
OBJECTS DIRECTLY EXPERIENCED
BY YOU AT 1

3
ALL OF YOUR RECOLLECTION AT 1
OF APPARENTLY INDIVIDUAL OBJECTS
DIRECTLY EXPERIENCED BY YOU AT
0 AND KNOWN TO BE IDENTICAL
WITH 2

4
ALL CRITERIA BY WHICH YOU MIGHT
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN MEMBERS OF 3
AND 2

5
ALL OF YOUR EXTRAPOLATION FROM
2 AND 3 CONCERNING THE DISPOSITION
OF 2 AT 0

6
ALL ASPECTS OF THE DISPOSITION
OF YOUR WON BODY AT 1 WHICH
YOU CONSIDER IN WHOLE OR IN
PART STRUCTURALLY ANALOGOUS
WITH THE DISPOSITION OF 2

7
ALL OF YOUR INTENTIONAL BODILY
ACTS PERFORMED UPON ANY MEMBER
OF 2

8
ALL OF YOUR BODILY SENSATIONS
WHICH YOU CONSIDER CONTINGENT
UPON YOUR BODILY CONTACT WITH
ANY MEMBER OF 2

9
ALL EMOTIONS DIRECTLY EXPERIENCED
BY YOU AT 1

10
ALL OF YOUR BODILY SENSATIONS
WHICH YOU CONSIDER CONTINGENT
UPON ANY MEMBER OF 9

11
ALL CRITERIA BY WHICH YOU MIGHT
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN MEMBERS OF
10 AND 9

12
ALL OF YOUR RECOLLECTION AT 1
OTHER THAN 3

13
ALL ASPECTS OF 12 UPON WHICH
YOU CONSIDER ANY MEMBER OF 9
TO BE CONTINGENT

 

 

Victor Burgin Victor Burgin Victor Burgin Victor Burgin Victor Burgin Victor Burgin at Bridget Donahue

 

Via Ubuweb’s Anthology Of Conceptual Writing.