Mark Neville. Port Glasgow and other projectsLaboratories

Mark Neville. Port Glasgow and other projects

On April 16, the Laboratory of Contemporary Art Mala Gallery of the Mystetskyi Arsenal will present online the exhibition of British artist Mark Neville Port Glasgow and other projects.

The exhibition will feature selected works from seven projects representing the artist's creative practice over the past 18 years. The presented works illustrate Neville's activist artistic approach, which is based on close interaction with the communities at the centre of his focus. Neville often makes photo books, employing a strategy of targeted dissemination through which the artist subverts the conventional relationship between art and its subjects. Neville establishes a democratic and ‘horizontal’ kind of communication with his subject; his books primarily exist for and serve the communities he documents.

Mark Neville’s first such project was The Port Glasgow Book Project (2004). For a year he worked in Port Glasgow, which sixty years ago was a world centre for shipbuilding. The resulting book became a kind of social document about the life of the working community of the town. To disseminate it, the artist engaged the local football club boys, who delivered 8,000 copies of the book to each household in the town in a week. The book itself could not be purchased in stores or ordered by mail. In this way, Neville undermined the traditional form and perception of the photobook as ‘art’ and gave the local community ownership of it.

Neville has been researching the Ukrainian context for several years. He describes his journey as follows: “My relationship with Ukraine began in 2015 when Kyiv Military Hospital contacted me to request a Ukrainian language version of my book about mental health issues in the British military, Battle Against Stigma. They wanted to give them out to their patients who were wounded both physically and psychologically after their time on the frontline. I was really impressed that Ukraine would be so forward-thinking in its desire to understand and treat adjustment disorder".

His work in Ukraine includes the series of photographs Displaced Ukrainians (2018) commissioned by the Centre for Eastern European and International Studies (ZOiS), Berlin, and a series Voyages: Odesa (2017) commissioned by The New York Times Magazine (both these series were presented at the exhibition Obabich at Mystetskyi Arsenal). In August 2021, Steidl will publish Mark Neville's book on Ukraine Stop Tanks with Books.

Curator — Max Gorbatskyi.

British artist Mark Neville works at the intersection of art and documentary, investigating the social function of photography. He makes lens-based works that have been realised and disseminated in a large array of contexts, as both still and moving image pieces, slideshows, films, and giveaway books. His work has consistently looked to subvert the traditional role of social documentary practice. Often working with closely-knit communities, in a collaborative process intended to be of direct, practical benefit to the subject, his photographic projects to date have frequently made the towns he portrays the primary audience for the work. He has been nominated for The Pulitzer Prize by The New York Times Magazine in 2012 for the photo essay Here is London, for the Aperture Photobook Award 2017 for the Steidl monograph Fancy Pictures, and for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Award 2020 for his book Parade. In 2020 Neville relocated from London, his place of birth, to live in Kyiv.

The exhibition will be open from April 17 to May 30, 2021.
Free entrance.

Open hours:
Tuesday-Sunday, 12:00 - 20:00
Monday - closed

*Please note. Due to the pandemic situation, the opening dates may change, so stay tuned for updates on our Facebook page and stay safe.