Andre Stitt

Andre Stitt

Imaging Wales

Recognised internationally as one of the foremost performance and intermedia artists, André Stitt is also an influential teacher and curator. He opened trace: Installation Artspace, which specialises in performance and cross-disciplinary work.

His work divides into three. He is best-known for his ‘akshuns’ which focus on what are generally viewed as ‘difficult’ , even traumatic subjects, of which he has presented literally hundreds around the world. He was born and worked for some time in Northern Ireland and although a strand of his work has dealt with issues – social, political and cultural – specific to it, his major themes: oppression, freedom, alienation, coercion, subversion, globalisation, the appropriation of cultures and communal conflict, has universal relevance. He fits seamlessly into Wales, where these concerns are important social issues. The works "physically and emotionally embody the divisive forces of capitalism and materialist addiction: processes of building and disintegration and the resulting journey towards redemption."

More conventionally Stitt exhibits performance artefacts alongside works contextualising them. He calls this "reconstitution and recontextualisation" of photographs as archival indicators of his concerns. These works – almost private performances – succeed in being highly personal, yet also question the parameters of conventional archiving, whilst revealing his interrogation of convention and simultaneous delight in indicators of ambiguities between the private and the public.

The third dimension of his activity has been referred to as "reliquary prints". Closely related to his archival work, these are summations of his performances, almost diaries, consisting of printed assemblages of his personal ‘attributes’, the most frequently-used objects in his akshuns. They have an unappetising dimension, reminiscent of religious souvenirs, but their presentation engenders an ethereality and surface quality which makes them conventionally beautiful. In his reliquaries there is little odour of sanctity and the objects depicted are at the opposite pole from the conventional sweet cloying powderiness of reliquary and registo but remembrances of his akshuns are vividly conjured up and the violence and angst of his struggles is suggested by smearings, stains, the depiction of personal artefacts, such as items of clothing, underwear, bondage gear and sexual toys, so that we can almost smell the bodily odours in these palimpsest-collages.

Performance Magazine UK calls him "a shaman who is prepared to explore what most of us would not care to be, let alone even try to express… [he is] the nearest thing Britain has to a genuine cult performer".

Wales - China 2017

Thomas Martin - Stratum 50 - Open Books

India Wales

Hay Festival Kerala

Patagonia 150

Patagonia - Marc Rees