Het Kabinet



John Murphy

Up or down, it's all the same: in Gent or Venice

8 October – 20 November 2005


John Murphy 1945, UK

John Murphy’s work of the last decennium is a mediation on what might be the work of an exhibition. An exhibition as an itinerary, but an itinerary as Gilles Deleuze says in his ‘Abécédaire’ whichs tends towards encounter. An encounter with the other.

In this way it is a figure of the real. For John Murphy an exhibition is the special place of intervals. A place where works of art placed side by side may start to compose their own history. A place of endless returnings of repeated new beginnings, where works of art become unstable, unfixed, forever filled with new readings and unstable meanings.


G. Tiepolo (1727 - 1804)

Pulcinella's swing (1783)
Detached fresco , cm. 200 x 170
Venice, Ca´ Rezzonico, Dorsoduro 3136

Pulcinella and the acrobats (1791 - 1793)
Detached fresco , cm. 196 x 160
Venice, Ca´ Rezzonico, Dorsoduro 3136

Sala dei Pulcinella
Venezia, Ca´ Rezzonico



“And things throw light on things. ”

This catalogue was published alongside Murphy's exhibition at Ikon in November 2004. The artist ’s practice is one of arrangement and intervention. He suggests that “the role of the artist is as much to find as to make work.” Murphy has selected works from the Barber Institute collection and positioned these alongside his own works, in which he re-contextualises found images and text. Through juxtaposition, he creates subliminal associations and traverses disciplines such as painting, music and film. Murphy draws on the process of accumulation, whereby the viewer retains memories of things that shape perceptions of other things yet to be encountered.

Birgmingham, GB: IKON Gallery, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, 2004
32 pp (Eng)
Design: Filiep Tacq and John Murphy
ISBN: 2–930128–11–9

“The Sublime Void”
on the memory of the imagination
Bart Cassiman

24 contemporary artists, who in their work bare witness to an artistic conscienceness that is grounded in European culture and in it´s centuries old myths and allegories.

Ludion Ghent, Antwerpen 93, 1993
280 pp (Nl/Eng)
Design: Filiep Tacq and Bart Cassiman
ISBN: 2–90–5544–002–7


Poster as part of the exhibition and printed on 100 copies
which can be taken away by the visitors (90 x 63 cm)

John Murphy

1945, United Kingdom


—(Between the Acts).
Lisson Gallery, London, 2006

Luxemburg, LU: Casino Luxemburg, 2005

—And things throw light on things.
Birgmingham, GB: IKON Gallery, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, 2004

—Of voyages.
Luxembourg, LU: Galerie Erna Hécey, 2003

—Stanze del Camino di Mezzo.
John Murphy, Ettore Spalletti, Franz West. San Giovanni Valdarno, IT: Casa Masaccio, 2002

—Le regard de l’autre, Dialogue entre les collections du Frac Haute Normandie et du Musée des Beaux–Arts de Rouen.
Rouen, FR: Musée des Beaux-Arts, 2002

—Armes blanches, homage a James Lee Byars.
Normandie, FR: Frac Haute, 1999

—The way up and the way down.
Southampton, GB, 1999

—A Conversation Piece, with Juliâo Sarmento,
Oxford, GB: Museum of Modern Art, 1998

—A different constellation.
Paris, FR: Yvon Lambert, 1998

—On the incline of our tongue.
Luxembourg, LU: Galerie Erna Hécey, 1998

See catalogue Villa Arson, Nice
for a comprehensive list of exhibitions up to 1997