‘A1: Britain on the Verge’, Art Bermondsey Project Space, London, 16 January 2018 – 20 January 2018

Stephanie King

Abstract


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Peter Dench’s recent exhibition at Art Bermondsey Project Space has a contentious title, ‘A1: Britain on the Verge’. Taking its name, on the Verge, from the preface to Paul Graham’s 1983 photobook, A1: The Great North Road, Dench’s project is a study of Britain in the wake of the European Union membership referendum. If Dench’s task, as he implies, is to comprehend the complex and contradictory motives that compelled voters on June 23, 2016, how – if at all – does he achieve this aim? Thirty years on from Graham’s project, how does Dench chart the shifting socio-political and economic landscape in Britain in the referendum’s aftermath? Ultimately, this review argues that Dench’s project is limited by his failure to seriously engage with documentary and its histories.


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