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American History X volume III, Manifest Decimation

Bermondsey Project Space
183-185 Bermondsey Street
London
SE1 3UW

15 October to 2 November 2019
Opening Celebration: 16 October, 6-9 pm


Bermondsey Project Space is delighted to present an exhibition of works by the acclaimed artist Ben Turnbull. Entitled American History X volume III, Manifest Decimation, the show is the artist’s first since his highly-acclaimed Saatchi Gallery presentation in 2017 and extends Turnbull’s ongoing exploration of American political and social culture.

Comprised of seven large-scale collages executed in his trademark style using cut-outs from vintage American comics, the works examine the history of the ‘Indian Removal Act’ and the concept of ‘Manifest Destiny’, a belief which led to a cultural genocide of native Americans.

Manifest Decimation is a revisionist take on the mythology of how the west was won. Using cut-outs of Western comics and pulp novels – the type that showed ruthless colonisers as a necessary force for civilisation – Turnbull spins it around and makes the Indians the victors, the cowboys the vanquished.

The centrepiece of the show is a re-imagining of Mount Rushmore with Native Americans now centre stage, and, on closer inspection, the surrounding terrain is a vast battleground of comic book Cowboys and Indians.

The exhibition is the third in an ongoing series, following American History X volume II, Smells Like Teen Spirit, and American History X volume I, The Death of America, 2013.

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