press release

Linder. The House of Fame
An exhibition convened by Linder
24.03.2018 - 24.06.2018
Exhibition launch: 24.03.2018 18:30 - 23:00

The House of Fame is an ambitious exhibition convened by Linder. At the heart of the presentation is a retrospective of the influential British artist and musician’s work, spanning more than 40 years of photomontage, graphics, costume and performance. Emerging from the Manchester punk and post-punk scenes in the 1970s, Linder has continuously engaged with questions of gender, commodity and display.

The House of Fame is an elastic kind of retrospective, encompassing a constellation of influences. Joining Linder is a cast of 30 collaborators and fellow-travellers from the worlds of art and architecture, fashion and theatre, music and design—including Inigo Jones, Mike Kelley, Alison and Peter Smithson, Moki Cherry, Ithell Colquhoun and Heidi Bucher, among many others. Stretching from the early 17th century to today, The House of Fame hosts almost 200 works selected by Linder, in conversation with Nottingham Contemporary director Sam Thorne.

The exhibition is divided into four distinct spaces, each of which takes on the form of a different "house." The first gallery, "The House of the Future," is inspired by the architects Alison and Peter Smithson’s eponymous proposal of 1956, an ideal home that imagined life in 1981. It features little-known early works by Linder, including lingerie masks made during her time at art school in Manchester in the mid-1970s, as well as photographs she took of drag performers.

Next, "The House of Rest" is a spectral place of mourning, filled with the tokens of remembrance and melancholy. Linder’s own veiled face appears in a trio of photographs from her 1981 series "She/She." "The House of Unrest" is a space for transformation and transcendence; of spiritualism and political agitation. The gallery features costumes from Linder’s The Darktown Cakewalk: Celebrated from the House of FAME (2010), an epic performance which brought together witch trials and beauty queens, ragtime and Euro pop.

The final gallery, "The Abode of Sound," is inspired by the art, life and music of Moki and Don Cherry, and includes a show-within-a-show dedicated to Moki’s textile works. These are displayed alongside an assembly of unusual musical instruments, including Linder’s own taus (a peacock-shaped string instrument from Punjab), and cosmically minded art works.

Artists include: Marion Adnams (1898–1995), Shirley Baker (1932–2014), Aubrey Beardsley (1872–98), Heidi Bucher (1926–93), Tom Burr (b.1963), Moki Cherry (1943–2009), Ithell Colquhoun (1906–88), Isabel A. Cowper (1826?–1911), Max Ernst (1891–1976), Richard Hamilton (1922–2011), Alexis Hunter (1948–2014), Inigo Jones (1573–1652), Tam Joseph (b.1947), Mike Kelley (1954–2012), Linder (b.1954), Guy Mees (1935–2003), Richard Nicoll (1977–2016), Toshiko Okanoue (b. 1928), Hardeep Pandhal (b.1985), William Hallam Pegg (1864–1946), The Propeller Group (active since 2006), Collier Schorr (b.1963), Diane Simpson (b.1935), Penny Slinger (b.1947), Alison and Peter Smithson (1928–93 and 1923–2003), Maxwell Sterling (b.1990), Keiichi Tanaami (b.1936), Harumi Yamaguchi (b.1941), and Madame Yevonde (1893–1975).

The House of Fame has grown out of a close collaboration with Chatsworth House in Derbyshire where, in 2017, Linder became the first artist-in-residence in the stately home’s 500-year history. It includes new works made during her time there, as well as 40 pieces from Chatsworth’s vast collection. The exhibition is part of the third season of The Grand Tour; a partnership of Nottingham Contemporary, Chatsworth, Derby Museums and The Harley Gallery, together with Visit Nottinghamshire and Visit Peak District & Derbyshire. Supported by Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations fund and The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.