David Blandy’s work encompasses a wide range of projects from large scale video installations and performance to writing a graphic novel about the history of the dissemination of knowledge.
He is represented by Seventeen Gallery in London. Recently Blandy was selected for the prestigious Film London Jarman Video Award 2018 for his collaborative practice with the artist Larry Achiampong.
His has worked with marginalised groups such as paperless migrants and veterans in prison, to exploring the media archive of the financial institution Bloomberg. He has recently worked with scientists in Cambridge who are growing brain cells in order to understand (and limit) diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Hercules: Rough Cut, David Blandy’s commission for Bloomberg SPACE, explores empire, civilisation, London and language in a hypnotically rotating, mutating installation of video and voice.
Hercules: Rough Cut refers to the Roman version of the Greek Heracles, a series of stories rife with internal contradictions and gathered from multiple sources that has inspired artists and writers through time. Drawing on Bloomberg’s vast archive of global financial news footage, Blandy layers and amalgamates images of the agricultural, the economic, the cultural, the political and the industrial on four screens that revolve and turn next to a large-scale projection. His pulsing poetic rap narrates an alternative history of the City of London (and the world) informed by mythology, war, disease, injustice, technology and development. He references the language, style and cadence of Roman declamations, Thomas More, Samuel Johnson, William Blake, 1950s Beat poets and contemporary street talk.
Out of Nothing, is a graphic novel published by Nobrow, written by David Blandy & the illustrator and writer Daniel Locke. It is the story of us, a story created Ex Nihilo, from the Big Bang to an imagined future, encompassing thousands of years of science and storytelling and art, so that we might know who we are...
FF Gaiden: Delete, Larry Achiampong & David Blandy worked closely with paperless migrants living in Oslo, some of whom had been stuck there in limbo for many years with no possibility of being allowed to work legally. They discussed issues surrounding identity, technology and contemporary culture. Through close collaboration with the participants, they created a video work that makes use of the virtual space of the computer game Grand Theft Auto V to create a complex tapestry of stories about migration, cultural history and social change.
Run a Mile in my Shoes, Blandy won the commission from Great North Run Culture who explore the unique partnership between art and sport, using the world's largest half-marathon as a starting point for the commissioned artists. Run a Mile in My Shoes focuses on thirteen runners lip-syncing to one of their favourite songs while they train for the Bupa Great North Run.
The multi-screen installation comprised thirteen short films, with one participant and one song representing each mile of the half-marathon. Filmed across the North East and London, each piece forms a portrait of the runner, contrasting the mundane surroundings of the city streets or country lanes with the soundtrack of the song in their head.
Finding Fanon, a performance and video installation by Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, installed at Tate Modern, London. Incorporating music, spoken word and large-scale video projection, the performance reflected on how the politics of race affect relationships in an age of technology and globalisation.
The film is a meditative, naturalist cinematic portrayal on the fragility of friendships, loss and alienation in the current era. The two characters in tweed suits, are on a journey on foot with their children. As the hours progress and the landscape evolves, the two families move through a range of subtle emotions, enacting a pilgrimage of mutual confusion, sudden insight and recurring intimations of a larger battle.
'Finding Fanon Trilogy' is a series of works inspired by the lost plays of Frantz Fanon, (1925-1961) a politically radical humanist whose practice dealt with the psychopathology of colonisation and the social and cultural consequences of decolonisation.
The artists were shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award 2018
Borked Brain, David Blandy worked with a group of scientists at the Livesey Lab at the Gurdon Institute, observing the visualisations of human brains grown from stem cells, using this research as a way to think about consciousness, identity and technology.
An experimental project with Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, and artists working with the Gurdon Institute to develop projects inspired by scientific research.
Child of the Atom, ‘There is a familial myth that my late Grandfather would not have survived being a Japanese Prisoner of War had the atomic bombing of Hiroshima not occurred. So it could be argued that I owe my existence to one of the most terrifying events of human history and the death of 110,000 people.'
- David Blandy
This family lore regarding David Blandy's grandfather, held as a POW in Malaya and Taiwan from 1942, provided the genesis of Blandy's solo exhibition, Child of the Atom. Generated by an underlying guilt about his own and also his daughter's existence, Blandy's film documents their visit to Hiroshima to literally and symbolically search for their 'origins'.