upon this rock is a solo exhibition by British artist Rene Matić. It continues their long-term interrogation of ‘Britishness’, exploring how the nation’s past manifests in its present. The exhibition also addresses themes of subculture, faith, and family.
A new installation of bronze and wood sculptures focuses on the figure of ‘the crucified skinhead’ – a long-standing symbol used to convey a sense of persecution and alienation. Matić’s work frequently makes reference to the Skinhead movement, which originally emerged in the mid-1960s as a cultural exchange between Caribbean and white working-class communities. The exhibition will place subculture and spirituality in dialogue, positioning subculture as religion – as saviour or guide.
The exhibition will premiere a new film work centring on the figure of Matić’s father, Paul. Also featured are new images from the artist’s ongoing photography series entitled flags for countries that don’t exist but bodies that do (2018 – ongoing). This series is a personal diary documenting Matić’s community and family (chosen and otherwise), as well as being a portrait and deconstruction of contemporary Britain.
With thanks to Arcadia Missa.
Rene Matić, upon this rock, South London Gallery, September 2022. Installation view, Andy Stagg