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Monday, 2 December 2019

Mark Duffy: A Case of Gross Misconduct

Mark Duffy used to be the in-house photographer for the Houses of Parliament in the UK. If you buy newspapers you will have seen his pictures on the cover in the UK and indeed across the globe. 

His picture of politicians petitioning the speaker John Bercow (the man who shouts Ordaaahhh) is a particular favourite. 

The problem with Duffy is he doesn't like Brexit. Because he's got a brain basically. And an Irish passport. He doesn't want to be in the Boris Johnson transports I guess. 

And so he made, in various stages, works on Brexit outside his parliamentary practice. Here's one of his fun installations at Derby's Format Festival.

And then he lost his job for 'gross misconduct.. 

A photographer bringing the UK parliament into disrepute because of gross misconduct (and lack of impartiality) is beyond irony, a case of killing the messenger when it should be JRM, Dominic Raab, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Priti Patel or any number of scum-sucking groundfeeders getting the narwhal horn up the arse treatment. 

It's really interesting on so, so many levels. I might write about it. 

Anyway, he lost his job and made an in-house exhibition called,  Brexit House .
Co-curated by Duffy and his partner Briony Carlin, it shows the signage of parliament, the layers of photographic functions it is represented by, the iconography of Brexit, the artefacts, the state of mind and the psychosis of Brexit, the control of images by parliamentary button pushers, and the complete absence of any kind of control at any stage anywhere. It is all a big dog's bollocks of an affair. 

The work is shown on a room by room basis around the house (and it's a nice house). It's kind of messy, but it looks great, and messiness fits the theme in a big way, and the way the images fit into the nooks and crannies and drawers of the house fits the mass psychosis of Brexit and the way the house (both Duffy's house and the House of Commons) and all its corners works as a metaphor for all our damaged psyches. This element combined with the layers of management and control - and everything that connects to - is what is interesting, Freud meeting Foucault and forgetting their lines somewhere in the middle. I'm really sorry I didn't get to see it in the flesh. But isn't that always the way. 


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