Patrick Staff’s practice considers ideas of discipline, dissent, labour and the queer body through a varied, interdisciplinary and often collaborative body of work comprising film, dance and performance. It draws on and seeks to examine the historical narration of counter-culture, radical activity and alternative forms of community building.
The major film installation The Foundation (2015)—Patrick’s most ambitious and large-scale project to date—is the product of several years’ research and dialogue with the Tom of Finland Foundation, bringing together languages of film and live performance with sculptural materiality to explore the body as a political, living archive. The Foundation seeks to explore the complexities of cultural artefacts and collective identities, via an examination of ownership, appropriation, responsibility and desire. Combining footage shot at the late Finnish artist’s former home in Los Angeles, which is now a dedicated foundation to homoerotic art, with choreographed scenes between Staff and an older actor within a constructed set, the film contemplates gender identity and cross-generational dialogue.
Patrick Staff (born 1987, UK) lives and works in London and Los Angeles. Staff has had solo shows at Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2015); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2015) and Spike Island, Bristol (2015). Selected exhibitions, screenings and performances include Centro AAA, Portugal (2015), The Serpentine, London (2015), Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2014), The Showroom, London (2014), Tate Liverpool (2014), Le Quartier, France (2014), South London Gallery (2013), International Project Space, Birmingham (2013), Banff Centre, Canada (2013) and The Tanks, Tate Modern, London (2012). Staff took part in the LUX Associate Artists Programme in 2010–11.
Upcoming exhibitions in 2015–2016 will include: British Art Show 8, Leeds Art Gallery; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh; Norwich University of the Arts; Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery; Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich; John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton; Southampton City Art Gallery; and The Foundation, Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver, Canada.
Patrick Staff | Awards for Artists, at this time for me, truly feels like a lifeline. It is an incredible gesture. I am so grateful. Many people—artists and otherwise—face dramatically diminished access to support to live and work. I am humbled and grateful that the Paul Hamlyn Award will afford me relief from these pressures, and most importantly time and space to focus my energies.