June 13, 2024

Mike Peters – Lying and Liars / B.S. Johnson’s Paradigm @ Collective Gallery Edinburgh

Collective Gallery present a joint exhibition from Glasgow based sculptor Mike Peters and avant garde writer and film maker B.S. Johnson (1933-1973). Taking on the concept that all fiction is lying, the exhibition showcases the illustrative sculptures of Mike Peters in tandem with the experimental film Paradigm (1969) from Johnson.

Johnson’s film looks to ask questions of language and the spoken word and cements his avant garde and experimental reputation. The focus of the video is a man who addresses the camera. He sits naked on a sculpture and speaks in a despondent and indecisive tongue. Although not as cohesive and well presented as Johnson’s writing, the film is engaging and draws the viewer in as we attempt to decipher the language and the meaning. Also on display are a selection of Johnson’s novels, which only goes to highlight the range and importance of his artist within the broad context of his work.

Mike Peters’ sculptures are playful in nature, being somewhat comic strip in style. Presented in a room with concrete walls, we see an exhibition that looks at sculpture from the perspective of an illustrator. The sculptures themselves concern people and individuals and this is the focus of the work within the context of the theme -Lying and Liars.

Both artists compliment one another with very different takes on the theme with Peters bringing us up to date and Johnson presenting a masterclass from a truly original artist. It would have been nice to have seen a wider range of work, however the gallery space is utilised and The Collective Gallery have presented an interesting and engaging exhibition.


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