Derek Liddington, Today a Legend Died. Viva La Revolution

April 20th-May 26th 2012

Today a Legend Died. Viva La Revolution constructs a two-part narrative that follows a down-and-out 1968 Mustang coupe – a monument of the hopes and dreams of the working class, as well as the development of a father and son’s relationship amidst a proletarian revolution. Based on a conflation of autobiographical, fictional and revolutionary moments, the plot begins with a statement made by Liddington’s father on the day Roy Orbison passed away: “Son, today a legend died.”

Continue Reading

  • 1968 Mustang coupe (Post-Revolution Scar), 2012
  • Installation view of Today a Legend Died. Viva La Revolution, 2012
  • Installation view of Today a Legend Died. Viva La Revolution, 2012
  • Geometric Composition pre-2012 (revolution) / Geometric Composition post-2012 (revolution), 2012
  • Installation view of Today a Legend Died. Viva La Revolution, 2012
  • Portrait (revolution), 1980 - 1988 (A repeated rectangle visualizing the passage of time during the years following John Lennon's murder and preceding the passing of Roy Orbison), 2012
  • Portrait (revolution), 1988 - 1994 (A repeated wedge visualizing the passage of time during the years following Roy Orbison’s death and preceding the suicide of Kurt Cobain), 2012
  • Portrait (revolution), 1988- 1991 (A repeated square visualizing the passage of time during the years following Roy Orbison’s death and preceding the final days of The Persian Gulf War), 2012
  • Installation view of Today a Legend Died. Viva La Revolution, 2012
  • Portrait (revolution), 1978 - 1988 (A repeated wedge visualizing the passage of time during the years following the Sex Pistols’ split and preceding the passing of Roy Orbison), 2012
  • Landscape (revolution), 1968 - 1992 (A repeated square visualizing the passage of time during the years following the events of 1968 and preceding the Los Angeles Riots), 2012
  • Installation view of Today a Legend Died. Viva La Revolution, 2012
  • Portrait (post-revolution), 1989 - 1988 (A repeated square visualizing the passage of time during the years preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall and following the passing of Roy Orbison), 2012
  • Erased Wedge (post-revolution/pre-revolution), 1920 – 1968, 2012

This new work will be presented in three acts. Each will be set within a large-scale installation where several performances throughout the course of the exhibition will take place. The first two acts present mirrored gestures from two opposing positions. Titled Today a Legend Died (for the workers) and Today a Legend Died (by the workers) respectively, they trace the delicate relationship between a man (Liddington) and his conflicted love for his car through an assemblage of dance, opera and electric guitar performances.

The final act, a week-long performance featuring Liddington and his father, follows their disparate relationship as they attempt to rebuild the Mustang, the crux of both of their desires. Titled Viva La Revolution, the performance looks at the similar circumstances – love, labour, tension and violence – that occur within a family and in times of revolution.

Liddington describes his upcoming exhibition: “My performances feature disparate forms of theatre, music, opera and dance. Through a multidimensional environment I look for questions, gaps, cracks, reflections in the conflicting and shifting histories (plural and singular) of the working class. Our ability to relate to, as well as impart ourselves onto, a given narrative in turn helps us write our own history – past, present and future.”

Act I – Today a Legend Died (for the workers)

Performance: Sunday, April 29, 2:00 p.m.

Act II – Today a Legend Died (by the workers)

Performance: Saturday, May 12, 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, May 17, 6:00 p.m.

Act III – Viva La Revolution

Performance: Tuesday, May 22 – 26, 11: 00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily

Derek Liddington works and lives in Toronto. He obtained his MFA from the University of Western Ontario and BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Liddington’s work has been exhibited in numerous public settings, most recently at the opening night of Art Toronto 2011 where he staged Dandy Gangs. In 2010, Liddington staged Allegory for an Opera as part of Nuit Blanche. He had his first solo show, titled Coupe de Grace, at Clark and Faria Gallery in 2010. Liddington’s work has also been exhibited in group shows, most recently in Meet us on the Commons, curated by Elizabeth Underhill for the Art Gallery of Mississauga. Last year, Derek Liddington was shortlisted for the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist Prize.

For more information, please contact:

Rui Amaral at rui@danielfariagallery.com