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To open the New Year, the Hayward Project Space presents a number of recent and new works by Canadian artist Tim Lee (born Seoul, Korea, 1975). With comedic aplomb, Lee is known to employ a range of media, including video and photography to revisit key moments from the life and works of a variety of cultural icons, from artists to comedians, all of which explore notions of the original and the replica.
For his exhibition at The Hayward Project Space, Lee is showing work informed by various artistic figures – the Russian constructivist photographer Alexander Rodchenko, the American artist Dan Graham, and the American comedian Steve Martin – underlining both Lee’s relationship to them, and their (perhaps unexpected) relationship to each other.
Often skating close to absurdity, Lee’s ‘cover versions’ emphasise that cultural history, far from being fixed, is in a constant state of flux – changing with every fresh perspective on it. In the photographic series Untitled (Alexander Rodchenko), 2008, an optical device comprised of angled mirrors allows a Leica I camera (a tool heavily associated with Rodchenko’s dynamic form of photography) to take images of itself, the results of these ‘self-portraits’ are exhibited. In Untitled (Steve Martin), 2008, Lee re-enacts a 1970s stand-up routine by Steve Martin, a comic who once famously informed his audience that his entire act would consist of one joke, repeated over and over until the final curtain. Exhibition supported by Canada House Arts Trust.