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Repro Tableau

Aug - Sept 2004


Dave Alker &
Peter Liddel

Chris Burden

Lali Chetwynd

London Institute of 'Pataphysics Department of Reconstructive Archaeology

Lucy McKenzie

Arash Moori.


installation view

installation view2

Pataphysics Department of Reconstructive Archaeology
Installation View

(multiple paintings, drawings and video featuring scenes from the 1960 film "The Rebel")


Catalogue Entry:

Anthony Aloysius St. John Hancock (1924-1968) has long been acknowledged as a truly exceptional artist, yet his actual pictorial and sculptural oeuvre continues to be unjustly neglected. Despite a certain cult following Hancock's work is still chiefly known from the bio-documentary account of his Paris years, "The Rebel" (1960), a film whose treatment of his work is far from reverential. Various other circumstances have contributed towards this eclipse: not least the fact that all of Hancock's works have been irretrievably lost to posterity, the result of a combination of tragic accidents and wilful destruction. The Department of Reconstructive Archaeology has been created precisely for such a purpose. The Department has undertaken to re-create the entirety of Hancock's known pictorial output, as well as his most important sculpture (the magnificent and imposing Aphrodite at the Waterhole ). The resulting exhibition, at The Foundry gallery, Old st has been re-created in the main space of The Embassy, Edinburgh, it will allow for a complete re-assessment of Hancock's contribution to the art of his time. And, although the loss of the actual works precluded their having any significant art historical influence, we shall at last be able to appreciate their remarkable presience (Hancock's theories of Infantilism and Shapeism self-evidently share many similarities with Dubuffet's conception of "Art Brut" for example).

One of the joint directors of the Department, Magnus Irvin, will give a practical demonstration - by reconstructing Hancock's only known "action painting" Aphrodite at the Waterhole (on the Horizontal) - on the evening of the exhibition's opening, 7 September 2002 vulg. (in reality New Year's Eve 129 EP by the pataphysical calendar).


Self Portrait, early 1950's

Reconstructed by Magnus Irvin