Lookback: Mark Leckey

Posted on 8 Apr 2020 in News, Visual Art


In a parallel normal world, we’d be looking ahead to Glasgow International 2020, the city's biennial festival of contemporary art. So, instead, we’re looking back to the last GI Festival in 2018, specifically our installation from Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey. 

‘Nobodaddy’ comprised a single, dramatically lit figure, human in scale, occupying our vast main gallery space. Part statue, part cyborg, the forsaken figure was mirrored by a large video screen opposite, and was hollowed out and filled with speakers to give voice to his state.

The exhibition was rich with allegory and references. The title comes from a term coined by William Blake, the Thinker-like figure an enlarged version of an 18th Century wooden figurine held at the Wellcome Collection in London. Probably German in origin, it was initially thought to be a syphilitic man, but later attributed as a depiction of Job, the biblical character who was famously beset by disaster. Not a bad persona to invoke at this extraordinary time.

Nobodaddy ran from 20 April – 1 July 2018. 

Mark Leckey was born in 1964, and lives and works in London. His recent solo exhibition O’ Magic Power of Bleakness (Tate Britain, 24 September 2019 – 5 January 2020) featured a life-size replica of a motorway bridge.

Down the rabbit hole: Further reading

‘The lament is powerfully moving’ – read The Guardian’s Laura Cumming on GI 2018 >

Read about O’ Magic Power of Bleakness, Tate Britain (24 September 2019 – 5 January 2020) >

The Wellcome Collection is a remarkable free museum and library on London’s Euston Road. Visit the website >

Nobodaddy: Through the Bottomless Pit, Darkly.
An exploration of Blake’s phrase, from Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly (archive) >