1 March - 3 May
This exhibition is the first to focus solely on BANK video works, bringing together three rarely seen videos: FuckShitWalk 1996, Viper / BANK TV 1996, and Conference 1998.
Active between 1991 - 2003 BANK was an artists' group that included Simon Bedwell, John Russell, Milly Thompson and Andrew Williamson, with and David Burrows and Dinos Demosthenous featuring in the early years.
The work of BANK was a comic and sometimes brutal relief from the convivial, jargon ridden and professionalised art world of the 1990s. An antagonistic, critical, sarcastic and jeering sensibility that ultimately cemented their part in the story of contemporary art in London with their works later finding their way into public collections such as the Tate, British Council and Printed Matter, NYC.
The 80 minute version of VIPER/BANK TV at Trade is a series of highlights from the hours of footage produced; VIPER/BANK TV featured over 130 artists including many familiar names including David Burrows, Tracey Emin, Hilary Lloyd, Bob & Roberta Smith among many others. This edited version includes Tracey Emin reading a poem, Bob & Roberta Smith performing in the style of an American evangelical preacher as well as an interview with Terry Atkison of Art and Language by Dave Beech “a stand-in for Richard and Judy”.
FuckShitWalk 1996, and Conference 1998, are a perfection of bad visual and conceptual taste, which collectively with VIPER/BANK TV provide an insight to the spirit of the moment; the pop, art and historical references of the time; the technical limits of VHS and the DIY nature of an important, energetic and caustic artists’ group.
BANK produced paintings, videos, print and curated exhibitions. Often the titles of artworks by BANK would interchangeable with exhibition titles and more often than not would be rude or downright silly, such as “COCAINE ORGASM”, “WINKLE THE POT BELLIED PIG AND HIS WOODLAND CHUMS”, “STOP SHORT-CHANGING US. POPULAR CULTURE IS FOR IDIOTS. WE BELIEVE IN ART!“ which went hand in hand with their various gallery names: BANKspace, DOG, and Gallerie Poo Poo.
They also produced the ‘FAX-BAK service, whereby press releases were sent back to various galleries, with added corrections such as highlighting theoretical inaccuracies and grammatical mistakes, each press release was also given a mark out of ten.
The Banquet Years, Relics And Archives, Mgk Elaine, Basel; The Banquet Years Motinternational, London; Xerography Firstsite, Colchester, Self Portrait: Relics And Archives Treize, Paris Bank curated By Gallien Dejean; Writer In Residence Ormeston House, Limerick, Eire; Rude Brittannia: British Comic Art Tate Britain, London; Grand National: Art From Britain Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Vestfossen, Norway
Images from : 'Conference' (1) 1998 and 'FuckShitWalk' (2,3) 1996 courtesy of BANK and MOT international