Duncan Campbell
13 November 2009 – 20 December 2009
Opening: Friday 13 November

For his first major solo public exhibition in London, Chisenhale Gallery premieres a new film by Glasgow-based artist Duncan Campbell, co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery; Film and Video Umbrella; Tramway, Glasgow and The Model, Sligo. Make it new John (2009) tells the story of the DeLorean car, its creator John DeLorean and the workers of the Belfast-based car plant who built it. The film deftly contrasts the DeLorean dream with its spectacular downfall during a critical period in Northern Ireland’s history, and the canonisation of the car – the DMC12 – as a symbol of the American myth of mobility.

The son of an immigrant Romanian foundry worker, John DeLorean’s natural talent for engineering took him to the top of Chevrolet, General Motors’ most important division. Leaving this behind he persuaded the British Government to back his new venture – building a factory in Dunmurry in Belfast to produce a new sports car. Almost immediately beset by financial difficulties and allegations of embezzlement, DeLorean’s attempts to keep the factory open became increasingly desperate and corrupt, eventually leading to his arrest by the FBI. The factory - which employed 2000 workers - closed in 1982, having produced just over 9000 cars.

As with the earlier works such as Bernadette (2008) and Falls Burns Malone Fiddles (2003), in Make it new John Campbell fuses a documentary aesthetic with fictive moments, using existing archive news and documentary footage from the 1980s as well as new 16mm footage which imagines conversations between DeLorean factory workers. Campbell questions the documentary genre and reflects here on broader existential themes and narrative drives.

Make it new John lasts approximately 50 minutes and will be screened on the hour during gallery opening times.

Duncan Campbell lives and works in Glasgow. In 2008 Campbell was the recipient of the Baloise Art Prize and a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists. Recent solo exhibitions include Kunstverein Munich; Ludlow38, New York and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (all 2009). His work has also been featured in Art Now Lightbox, Tate Britain, London (2006) and Manifesta 5, European Biennial of Contemporary Art, San Sebastian (2004).

A limited edition print by Duncan Campbell has been produced to accompany the exhibition. For more details please visit our online shop, here.

Richard Kirkland: the rise and fall of the DeLorean project

Thursday 3 December, 7pm

Richard Kirkland, Professor of Irish literature and culture at King’s
College London, will discuss the rise and fall of the DeLorean project in the context of Northern Ireland in the 1980s.

Duncan Campbell
Thursday 1 January

Watch a short excerpt from Duncan Campbell's 2009 film Make it New John, commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, Film and Video Umbrella, Tramway, Glasgow and The Model, Sligo. Make it new John tells the story of the DeLorean car, its creator John DeLorean and the workers of the Belfast-based car plant who built it.

Duncan Campbell

Giclee print with single colour screen print, on 330gsm Somerset Velvet paper
59.2 x 44 cm
Edition of 50 + 10 AP

Standard price: £200 (unframed)
Chisenhale Friends' price: £180 (unframed)*

*Please note that Chisenhale Friends price is only available to those who have supported the gallery via the Benefactors scheme. For more information on the scheme please click here.

Kindly supported by Glasgow Print Studio

Glasgow based artist Duncan Campbell has made a new limited edition print for Chisenhale Gallery, to coincide with the premiere at the gallery of his major new film Make it new John, co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery; Film and Video Umbrella; Tramway, Glasgow and The Model, Sligo. Make it new John tells the story of the DeLorean car, its creator John DeLorean and the workers of the Belfast-based car plant who built it. The film deftly contrasts the DeLorean dream with its spectacular downfall during a critical period in Northern Ireland’s history, and the canonisation of the car – the DMC12 – as a symbol of the American myth of mobility. Campbell's edition depicts a photographic image of the DeLorean car overlaid with a sinuous black screenprint.

Duncan Campbell lives and works in Glasgow. In 2008 Campbell was the recipient of the Baloise Art Prize and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists. Recent solo exhibitions include Arbeit, Hotel, London (2011); Artists Space, New York (2010); Tramway, Glasgow (2010); Make it New John, Chisenhale Gallery, London; Kunstverein Munich; Ludlow38, New York and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (all 2009). His work has also been featured in the British Art Show 7, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham and Hayward Gallery, London and Gwangju Biennale (all 2010). Campbell was one of three artists who represented Scotland at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013).

For more information about the exhibition and to see images click here.

  • Duncan Campbell Limited Edition Print
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  • Exhibition
  • Chisenhale Gallery Friends and Patrons receive 10% discount on limited edition prints and publications priced up to the value of £3,500 For information about how to join the Friends and Patrons Programme please click here.

  • Chisenhale Gallery
    64 Chisenhale Road
    London E3 5QZ

    T: +44 (0)20 8981 4518 mail@chisenhale.org.uk

    For media enquiries please contact:
    media@chisenhale.org.uk or
    Ellen Greig on +44 (0)20 3328 1964 or ellen.greig@chisenhale.org.uk



Isobel Harbison leads a tour of the exhibition

Saturday 28 November, 2pm

Isobel Harbison, Exhibitions Organiser, Hayward Touring leads a tour of the exhibition.

Melissa Gronlund in conversation with Duncan Campbell

Sunday 13 December, 4pm

Duncan Campbell discusses his new film and recent work with Melissa Gronlund, Managing Editor, Afterall.
Click here to download a transcript of this event