October 25 - December 20, 2003
Rodney Graham, born in Vancouver in 1949, has just had a major retrospective touring Europe (Whitechapel Art Gallery London, K21 Kunstsammlung NRW Düsseldorf) and which is about to close at the MAC Marseille. The wider public took note of him when he was included in the 1997 Venice Biennale, where he showed his Robinsonade “Vexation Island” in the Canadian pavilion. Spanning a broad range of media, Graham manages to bring his versatility and virtuoso manner to works of photography, sculpture and video while composing classical music and recording pop records.
With a practice spanning five decades, Canadian artist Rodney Graham (1949 – 2022) operated through systems of quotation, reference and adaptation. From the 1980s, Graham expanded his diverse oeuvre to encompass photography, painting, sculpture, film, video and music. As actor, performer, producer, historian, writer, poet, sound engineer and musician, Graham’s art examined the complexities of Western culture through strategies of disguise, as he shifted seamlessly into different roles and characters. Casting himself as a succession of motley characters, Graham inhabited different personae, genres and art forms for the duration of his career. ‘It may be a burden to reinvent oneself every time,’ Graham said, ‘but it makes things more interesting.’