For his solo exhibition at Tramway, Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey has taken as his starting point an 18th Century wooden figurine of Job held at the Wellcome Collection in London. Leckey has enlarged the object to human scale. This single forsaken biblical figure occupies alone the vast space of Tramway.
The title ‘Nobodaddy’ is taken from the poem by William Blake, a name that for Blake is a play on the idea of God the father of no one, but also the man with no body. In Leckey’s sculpture this body is expanded and infiltrated by technology. Man’s limbs are hollowed out, the organs removed, and filled with speakers that give voice to his state. Opposite the sculpture a large video projection mirrors the figure as it is toggles through different scenarios.
The original figurine is deployed as a vessel for various attributed or shifting identities – initially thought to be a syphilitic man, but later attributed as a depiction of Job, here he is represented as a narcissistic ‘Thinker’ figure – part statue, part cyborg. A confluence of allegories and histories that in Leckey’s words has become “metalized, gauzified, vegetalized and petrified, a medieval gnostic gone septic, its body now merely a thing amongst things – the Spirit has departed the flesh.”
This exhibition is co-commissioned and co-curated by Glasgow International and Tramway. It has been made possible due to the generous support of the Henry Moore Foundation and the Wellcome Collection, London.
Limited editions of the image above are now available to buy from the GI Shop.