Victor BURGIN: UK76

4 December 2015 - 5 February 2016

The year 2016 is the 40th anniversary of Victor BURGIN's seminal photo-text series UK76. To mark the occasion, the gallery will present the work in its entirety and the form in which Burgin's works of the 1960s and 1970s were originally shown: pasted directly to the wall and scraped off at the end of the exhibition.


The work comprises eleven large photographic prints – each one metre high by one and a half metres in width – overlaid with text. The photographs were originally commissioned by the National Community Development Project and Coventry workshop. Burgin subsequently added short texts and captions 'reversed out' over the photographs in ironic reference to fashion magazine spreads. Much of the texts' language derives from such journals, British newspapers and advertisements of the day. Burgin's articulation of the style of 'socially concerned' documentary photography, together with graphic and rhetorical conventions from mass media, was anathema both to the social documentarists of the day and to the proponents of 'art photography'. In addition to its gesture to the street, his practice of postering his works for exhibition staged both the transitoriness of the world 'caught' in snapshots and a rejection of their repurposing as commodities.