CitizenM_London_Bankside-building copy copy

Photo © by Richard Powers for Concrete

Some views of ‘Another World Is Possible’, Mark Titchner, 2012. A permanent commission installed on the facade of Citizen M, 20 Lavington Street, off Southwark St, SE1, London.

4 cm webcmcm_270612_31-940x1301 Incidentally this work is only a few minutes walk from another permanently installed banner work “Motto”, 2010. At Cathedral School on Redcross Way.

motto2 mark titchnerMotto 1mark titchner

Motto 3 mark titchner“Motto” was commissioned by Art House Foundation, kindly supported by Young London.


(The world isn’t Working, Mark Titchner, 2013)

London Utd.
Dominic from Luton, Gavin Turk,
Laura White, Peter Lamb, Mark

06. 07 — 04. 08. 2013

Kling & Bang gallery
Hverfisgata 42
101 Reykjavik

London Utd.
As British politics started once again to chase its own tail against the background of further vicious cuts to the arts the artist Dominic Allan, aka Dominic from Luton, took matters in to his own hands to fly the flag for Britain. No self-proclaiming jingoism here, just a desire to make things happen: willpower over budget: ambition and talent superseding any economic imperative. On-going conversations with Kling & Bang, an internationally established Icelandic artist-run-space (based in Reykjavik), resulted in London Utd – not so much a celebration of London itself but the relationships that make it tick, via Luton, of course.

All of the works in the exhibition present the dramatic, glorious point where everything sits on the edge of the abyss, looks down and laughs, poking fun at the sheer audacity of chaos. Mark Titchner’s emblematic work, The World Isn’t Working, has been translated into Icelandic and realised in the red, white and blue of our symbiotic identities. Whilst subtly referencing the gentle typography of folk art the statement demands our attention much as the glorious Trade Union banners, now housed in museums, shouted for the international rights of men and women. Another symbol of fading glories, the Transit van, becomes the centre-piece of Gavin Turk’s work Large Transit Disaster Diptych 2013. A direct homage to Warhol’s Car Crash series Turk’s work as ever comes with many layers, referencing that underbelly of British life, the white van man – his downfall underpinned as the Luton-based car factories collapse. Allan’s own work, Dominic from Luton as Paul Young, continues to unpick the demise of the hero – or perhaps provokes its resurrection. His pre–performance photograph as the 80’s icon, dressed in images of himself as himself, now singing for a pint in the local working men’s club, bravely looks you in the eye, demanding attention but asking for your confirmation nonetheless.
It’s a powerful choice to consistently reference and re-use your own work. Confidence exudes through the works as all of the artists in this exhibition as they exert authority over their practice and imagery. Laura White continually pushes and pulls at the conventions inherent in presenting work. Conformity has no place as her new drawings for London Utd flip the sculptural norm and photographs of her sharply coloured sculptures are reprinted in monochrome and painstakingly overdrawn with pencil. Suggestive of the fading black and white photographs of old National Geographic’s her earlier references to anthropological collections come into full focus and begin new conversations not least around our current place in the world.
As honest appraisals of his journey through a work and deliberately sliding in and out of easy definition Peter Lamb’s diptych for London Utd highlights the role of the artist, artwork, studio and audience – all bound together in a complex, unfolding relationship. The familiar touchstone of his studio floor is reworked through photography and scale, overlaid with paint and studio materials, the work finally titled by his children. Chaos has been put in a box, allowed out on occasion to shake its finger at us all, allowing chance instead to reign supreme.
And so London Utd, a group of artists brought together by player manager Allan, heads to Iceland for an away game with a welcoming host, bound together by the sheer confidence of works that all have something to say.

Text by Lucy Day Photos courtesy of Inguar Högni Ragnarsson.

(Drawings by Joe & Riva)


It’s been my great pleasure to have recently made a video for the wonderful Grumbling Fur. This is the second video from the excellent ‘Glynnaestra” album out now on Thrill Jockey.  For the full experience be sure to view in HD.

(Protogenesis, Grumbling fur, Video by Mark Titchner, 2013)

The video is part of an ongoing collaboration with Daniel O’Sullivan and Alexander Tucker that began last year with Alex and I working on our ‘Knots’ piece for the Wysing Arts ‘Space Time’ festival. We are currently working on a installation work for Dilston Grove, London for April next year.

(Here’s what MOJO said about the video for Protogenesis…..

UK underground pair transmit pulsing, psychedelic atmospherics. Heads rejoice!

Daniel O’Sullivan and Alexander Tucker – aka underground duo Grumbling Fur – have been working together since 2011, steadily weaving together a vast array of influences (Aphex Twin, Vangelis, This Heat, solo McCartney, ice cream vans, kettles boiling), culminating in the release of their excellent new album of mantric avant-pop, Glynnaestra.

Described in MOJO 238 as “pop music as strange liturgy, where ice-cream van carillons and a replicant’s last words are transformed by Tucker and O’ Sullivan’s mournful vocal accord into pagan Depeche Mode pop”, the record will delight psych, electro and prog-heads alike. Settle into their world via the warm, lysergic storm of Protogenesis.

Official Video

Unofficial video by Michael Lewis

inner fur small nu

Grumbling fur – Glynnaestra cover and inner bag. Artwork by Daniel O’Sullivan and Alexander Tucker, type and layout by Mark Titchner

Charlemagne palestine poster oto

Poster for Charlemagne Palestine Residency at Cafe OTO.  Drawing by Daniel O’Sullivan, background and layout by Mark Titchner



A Naiad

Public artwork by Mark Titchner, 2013

M Shed,
Wapping Road,


(A Naiad, Mark Titchner, 2013)


Titchner’s work for Bristol is based upon a redundant reduction gear which has been drawn from the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery collection, and which the artists has used as a basis for a sculptural work that examines the tidal system of Bristol’s floating harbour, and new cut, a tidal body of water and fixed lagoon system.

The gear, which was earmarked for disposal, weighs around 1.5 tonnes and is 2 metres in height. It has been re-engineered to represent Bristol’s dominant feature: water. A set of polished steel discs – referring to the tidal lunar cycle – move through an accelerated sequence symbolising the violent tidal motion of the New Cut. The Floating Harbour’s fixed yet tensioned stasis is depicted in the form of a circular pool which is mechanically vibrated, providing a constantly shifting surface. Together these elements present Bristol’s two key water bodies in their contradictory states in a work that is part tidal clock and part absurdist machinery.

The sculpture is named after the Naiads from Greek Mythology, (from the Ancient Greek word ‘Ναϊάδες’), which were a type of water nymph (female spirit) that presided over fountains, wells, springs, and other bodies of water. The title was chosen by the artist to evoke the works aquatic theme.

File:Naiad1.jpgA Naiad by John William Waterhouse, 1893

BMG K4958

(‘Narcissus’, c1500, Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives collection)

The City Council’s Museum Service has supported the work A Naiad by making it part of its permanent collection at M Shed, in a remarkable story of transformation from redundant industrial relic to contemporary art work.


As part of the launch of A Naiad, a number of Mark Titchner’s film works were shown on the BBC big screen at Millennium Square from 12th April 2013 and during Harbourside Arts Weekend 3rd – 6th May 2013. Films include ‘Work and Play’, ‘UP!’, and ‘Fear of Life’.



(Love and Work, Mark Titchner, 2012)



(UP!, Mark Titchner, 2012)



(Fear of Life, Mark Titchner, 2012)

Artworks available at

‘Photography © Max McClure,’


Altars of Madness

Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain
41, rue Notre-Dame
L-2240 Luxembourg

18.5 — 15.9.2013

Entrepôt-galerie du Confort Moderne, Poitiers.

28.9 – 15.12.2013

Artist(s): Matthew Barney, Nicholas Bullen, Larry Carroll, Grégory Cuquel, Damien Deroubaix, Seldon Hunt, Gregory Jacobsen, Theodor Kittelsen, Harmony Korine, Elodie Lesourd, Juan Pablo Macías, Maël Nozahic, Torbjorn Rodland, Steven Shearer, Mark Titchner, Gee Vaucher, Banks Violette

Curator(s): Damien Deroubaix & Jérôme Lefèvre

‘Limb from bloody limb.  We know there is love’, Mark Titchner, 2013.

(Casino Luxembourg. Morning after Exhibition Opening. Photo by Mark Titchner.)

Text by Jérôme Lefèvre

In the late 1990’s, the public of contemporary art got acquainted with new personalities and references from the metal world through the works of emergent artists. While Torbjorn Roland chose to entitle a landscape photograph Buzrum, Mathew Barney was inviting musicians from some well-known metal bands to be featured in his films and Damien Deroubaix together with Banks Violette were making more and more references to the metal scene in their works. Until then, the previously heavy metal waves hadn’t had a real impact on the art scene and were only mentioned in some isolated pieced of work (like in a music video produced by Robert Longo or as references in the work of artists such as Albert Oelhen and Martin Kippenberger for instance). Conversely, extrememetal has become and important source of inspiration in contemporary art.

Extreme metal appeared in the second half of the eighties and is divided in three distinct musical genres: grindcore, death metal and black metal. Each of them has developed overtime its own rules, its own aesthetics and has evolved in a different way. Like any underground culture, extreme metal cannot truly be experienced when you remain a distant observer. As a matter of fact, it seems that most of the artists whose works are marked by extreme metal have been deeply involved in the metal scene since a very young age.

The ideas at the core of the exhibition Altars of Madness is thus to reveal the work of these artists, who have taken part in this underground culture. These artists who are willing to use it to feed their artistic practice, plus the ones offering some relevant testimonies of the metal scene and lastly, the ones who brilliantly contributed to the creation of its iconography.

The exhibition Altars of Madness originates from the C.S (Conservative Shithead) Journal, a monographic publication dedicated to that specific generation of artists.

This exhibition revolves around three main axes: an analysis of the political message that appears through the works, an introspective focus on questions related to the way teenagers deal with the very notion of death, and lastly, a nihilistic interpretation of landscapes.

Altars of Madness aims at investigating the formal embodiments of extreme metal and its influence in the work of contemporary artists.

Mark Titchner_I Want a Better World, I Want a Better Me_DL(2)Mark Titchner_The World Isn't Working & Mark Titchner_I Want a Better World, I Want a Better Me & Damien Deroubaix_Der Schlaf der Vernunft_DL(2)

Installation views with ‘I want a better world, I want a better me’ (2012) and ‘The World isn’t working’ (2008) by  Mark Titchner and “Der schlaf der Vernunft’ (2009) by Damien Deroubaix.

Grindcore was born in the eighties as a radical extension of punk music.Grindcore music originates from the anarchist and anti-consumerist punk movement that emerged in the eighties. Most of the lyrics extracted from grindcore songs deal with political topics and condemn racism, war and hypocrisy (be it social or individual). A large part of grindcore musicians turned to obscenity (using gore, pornography, in their lyrics and so on…) under the influence of American death metal and in conscious attempt to provoke the audience.

As far as musical language is concerned, grindcore presents itself as something deliberately antimusical. The grindcore motto is clear: ‘noise not music’. Its birth followed the ‘bruitist’ experimentations made by Seige, Larm and its style is largely inspired from the musical velocity of bands like Repulsion. The more aggressive and violent is the music, the better for grindcore fans.

On the visual aspect now, grindcore appears as something completely unaesthetic. The use of collage and logo designs is supposed to drawn the attention, to disturb the viewer, in the same manner that the music is meant to be inharmonious and unpleasant to the ear. Grindcore music aims at illustrating and condemning in the same time the world’s abjections.

The first part entitled ‘Lucid Fairytale’ is characterized by a certain sense of radicalism in terms of discourse and aesthetics. Gee Vaucher’s political collages will be displayed in the exhibition to help the viewer to put back the origins of grindcore music into context. A political dimension is clearly discernible in the works of both artists Mark Titchner and Damien Deroubaix. Therefore, even if the references to grindcore are not explicit in Titchner’s work, the musical genre has genuinely pervaded his artistic statement. The spirit of radicalism at work in this part of the exhibtion reminds the one of the Modernist period, namely the common will to fight against conservatism.

Mark Titchner_So Much Noise to Make a Silence (Major) & Damien Deroubaix_World Downfall_DL_4(2)Mark Titchner_So Much Noise to Make a Silence (Major)_DL_2(2)Installation views with ‘So much noise to make a silence (major)’ and ‘So much noise to make a silence (minor)’ (2008) by  Mark Titchner and ‘World Downfall’ (2007) by Damien Deroubaix

Writing is a central element in Mark Titchner’s work. He is well known for the slogans he advertises on the walls of the city where his work is displayed. The messages appear as absurd commands to the viewer who thinks he must have been mistaken at some point. Mark Titchner also produced Kafkaesque sculptures visually alike to high technology machines but without any apparent functions. They have to be understood as some sort of trepalia, as instruments for psychological torture.

Titchner’s work serves as a metaphor of the capitalist system’s and marketing strategies failure, or in a broader sense, as the testimony of the irrationality of human behavior.


Jérôme Lefèvre, Independent Curator and Art Director

nic bullen rehearsalnic bullen rehearsal 2Nic Bullen in rehearsal, cellar space, Casino Luxembourg.

A new issue of CS Journal by Mark Titchner will be published to coincide with the opening of the second part of ‘Altars of Madness’ at Entrepôt-galerie du Confort Moderne, Poitiers in September 2013.  Including original artwork and texts and a conversation between Alan Dubin (OLD, Khanate, Gnaw).

mark tittitchner conservative shithead 1mark tittitchner conservative shithead 5


Originally published in E.R.O.S. Journal

EROS MASTER2  vsmall

Alpha in Situ II

It only begins.

Naked body, white walls, white ceiling, polished concrete floor.

A room that is close as any to a cube.

Indeterminate time of day.  Little action to note save for the soft rise and fall of chest and a faint nasal exhalation.

In time I awake.

Here I am.  I am here.


A body in a room.  A skull that feels soft against the mass of concrete below.  I pull myself upward to sit and the floor spreads its grey chill through the base of my feet, my arse, my balls.  The sensation though not enough to make me shudder, is noted

Above me a curtainless, blindless window pours light and a little sound into the room.  The glass frontier beyond which …  I don’t know.  Do they hunt for meaning out there?  Do you?

The room is quite empty in a way that may suggest that some symbolic trespasser might crawl slowly and with heavy inference across the floor.  You choose, Cockroach, snail, armadillo?

But no such incursion.

Stimuli wise if you wish to fill the void, you might suppose that these featureless white walls conceal seamlessly fitted cupboards, veiled from your Vaseline smeared eye.  In such cupboards perhaps you might presume to find racks of identical pressed Armani suits or the complete back catalogue of Huey Lewis and the News.  Not forgetting, of course, the obligatory set of razor honed, artisan kitchen knives; their presence nodding vigorously to something a little more substantial, probably in the assault weapon mode, nearby.

In the room hinted at beyond, in fact a cube four times the size of this one, your reverie may bring forth from arctic concealment a state of the art refrigerator, a 42” colour graded plasma screen or a Carrara marble bath tub with Neo blue underlighting.  For the first time visitor it is a set of rooms that truly ache for the presence of consumables,

But no.  There is nothing here beyond which you can see, which is me, naked knotted upon a concrete floor, the cold tickling my feet and nether parts.  If it helps the picture, pose-wise think of Arnold Schwarzenegger as he first appears in ‘Terminator’ in a taught Promethean huddle, like a compressed version of a classical discus thrower.  I feel a little disingenuous, throwing you that image, as an increasing and marked indifference to exercise does mean that perhaps I’m a little less ‘solid’ than I once was.  Though I’m more, continuing the Terminator theme, Christian Bale ‘Terminator Salvation’ than Christian Bale ‘The Machinist’.

Does that help any?



The walls and floor remain as they were but the light coming into the room now is brighter.  Perhaps the sun is rising.

Should I say a little about the sound that penetrates the glass?  Best described as a faint percolation that never could be said to rise to a muffled chatter.  If it wasn’t for the minimal increase in volume gained from placing my ear upon the glass, something I have been increasingly inclined to do, it is a sound that may suggest damage to or a defect of the eardrum.

No discernable smells.

I’m guessing a hint of tiger balm might tick the right box.

Ok enough.

And what is the point of all this? This scene and attendant affectations?

Here’s the rub, if you will pardon me.

My name is Alpha.  I am the first man.

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘The Universe is the interior of the Lightcone of Creation’?  Alan Turing, I believe.

A beautiful image and it serves well as a satisfying CGI on television programmes on such matters; starry masses rushing towards the camera as the firing gun sounds. In time some slow, falling into formation whilst others more voracious bodies, break through the plane of vision and rush on to Viva Ultra.  Not to mention the implication that you, in that armchair are Observer number 1, the Big G. It’s a feel good way to start creations day.

But really.  No, that isn’t what happened at all.  The Universe does not smile in this way.  There is nothing so exotic as a Lightcone; there is in fact just this series of white rooms, a window that suggests something beyond and me.

What actually happened is very simple and it is this; One day I woke up.

That day was extraordinary on two counts.

Firstly it was the first time that I had woken and secondly, on waking, from my throat came a scream.

And that was that.



My scream hung in the air in these rooms for what could have been days, months or years; Traces and resonances eventually falling to silence.  And in the time that followed I came to think of that sound, to recall those fading sounds.

How do you imagine a sound?  What does the absolute sound like?  In time I realised that to recreate a sound in thought (especially with no frame of reference, no internal sound library) is a fruitless and frustrating endeavour.  Instead I began to hum and then to sing what I could recall of the sound.  Then with these poor, amateur equivalents speaking only of lack I began to formulate more complex relational systems; these became words and the space between the words became more words and then….

And in time I filled the world in my attempt to recall that sound.

All the world springs forth.

Every thought, every object, every love, every loss, every work of art, every ill-considered movie franchise.  Each an attempt at equivalence, my best attempt at some poorly rendered part of that resonance.

These days I often forget the point of this endless procession and merely lose myself in its banality.  So many thoughts to distract me; I create worlds, populate them, nurture them even entertain them.  I live the life of endless imagined souls, their tribulations and triumphs.  But why?

The sound is far beyond lost.

I find myself sleeping more and more these days.  A deep, warm dreamless sleep.  Waking life is at best a drag.  Me and the chill of the concrete floor.  The light from a window.

I am so bored.  I am so tired.

And this is how it will end.  The chill from the floor will creep up my spine and fill my body.  To summarise; the first man.  The last man, alone in a room ruminating on the involuntary spasm of the moment of his creation.  Trying to crawl back in or at least to swallow that gasp; to un-utter the beginning.  The world began with a whimper not a bang, blah.

And this is how it will end.  Bored man in room.  Perhaps.  Time for sleep.



Some time later.

Naked body, white walls, white ceiling, polished concrete floor.

A room that is close as any to a cube.

Indeterminate time of day.  Little action to note save for the soft rise and fall of chest and a faint nasal exhalation.

And then…The angular blast of a ringing telephone, a digital proxy for a Bakelite handset but convincing enough nevertheless.  Naked man in room stirs, eyes open slowly to sullen half reveal.  Phone rings.  Phone rings.  Phone rings.  Phone rings.  Silence a pause before the drawn out beep of an answering machine.

Robot-ish voice; ‘Please leave a message after the tone’.

‘Alpha this is your Mother here….