BROUGHTON & BIRNIE

        About

Kevin Broughton & Fiona Birnie began their collaboration in 2003 using photography to search for the fantastic, surreal & uncanny in city life. The limitations of photography led to computer manipulation enhanced images and a complex form of site specific immersive installations.

The tension between reality and the virtual developed a collage aesthetic as they liberated and tore apart internet images and reassembled the fragments to construct alternate realities as in 'The Ancestors' or 'The Procession' both of 2011 producing a questioning approach to the impact that technology (especially the internet & Social Media) has had on the systems & structures that we use to navigate, classify & define our world. The vast quantity of available data leaves the individual to construct their own often distorted version of reality.

Broughton & Birnie used their own brand of dark humour to construct a 20th Century virtual being in the Weimar forger, George Bruno. Producing paintings, sculpture, photography, video, masks & mixed media to create site-specific immersive installations (where all the contents had been made or adapted by them) in 'BERLIN: The Forgers Tale' where past and present, fact & fiction merge to create a new reality mirroring the loose connections we make every day to define our contemporary world. Movie stars and celebrities, historical figures, narratives from novels and soap operas, contemporary technology and historical fact combine to define an experience. History, myth, news, gossip, personal experience and emotions connect to create a fragile and surreal concept of reality.

The concept of collage continues in their recent work as an equation to the experience of internet browsing - linking disparate elements, as in their recent paintings, sculpture & drawings defining the inhabitants of the 21st Century digital swamp (fragmented, disjointed and reassembled within a viral infested, information and image overloaded soup).

Images from the net provide starting points for scenarios that ignite their unusually engaged collaboration as visual elements exist in a state of constant rework until finally jostled to a conclusion by current events. The completed works celebrate the heroic tragedy of the human condition when confronted by a dystopian world state of mind.