Ben Turnbull: American History X volume III, Manifest Decimation
Bermondsey Project Space is delighted to present an exhibition of works by the acclaimed artist Ben Turnbull. Entitled American History X volume III, Manifest Decimation, the show is the artist’s first since his highly-acclaimed Saatchi Gallery presentation in 2017 and extends Turnbull’s ongoing exploration of American political and social culture.
Comprised of seven large-scale collages executed in his trademark style using cut-outs from vintage American comics, the works examine the history of the ‘Indian Removal Act’ and the concept of ‘Manifest Destiny’, a belief which led to a cultural genocide of native Americans.
Manifest Decimation is a revisionist take on the mythology of how the west was won. Using cut-outs of Western comics and pulp novels – the type that showed ruthless colonisers as a necessary force for civilisation – Turnbull spins it around and makes the Indians the victors, the cowboys the vanquished.
The centrepiece of the show is a re-imagining of Mount Rushmore with Native Americans now centre stage, and, on closer inspection, the surrounding terrain is a vast battleground of comic book Cowboys and Indians.
The exhibition is the third in an ongoing series, following American History X volume II, Smells Like Teen Spirit, and American History X volume I, The Death of America, 2013.
Shown: How The West Was Won, Its A Lie But It’s Made To Sound Like Fun, 85 x 126 cm, comic collage on wood, 2018