This book by Kevin Malcolm is co-published by Varv Varv and Woodpecker Projects and presents works from an ongoing artistic research project initiated in 2014. Its starting point is the Musée Guimet in Paris and the collection of Asian art amassed by industrialist and traveller Émile Étienne Guimet whose fortune was made in the production of a synthetic ultramarine pigment essential as a whitening agent. This project asks questions of European identity and the role of the artist as collector and exhibitor of images and objects.
Entitled Outremer, the book explores Malcolm’s personal archive relating to the project alongside specially commissioned texts by Henning Lundkvist and Simen Joachim Helsvig. Driven by an interest in how images, texts and objects communicate, Malcolm is concerned with unearthing subliminal layers of meaning. Through strategies of alteration, combination and repositioning, the work aims to highlight residual histories and power dynamics, enabling reflection on knowledge production and representation.
Malcolm’s practice displays a tendency to engage with and rework found material and his work often features a fragmentation or decay of language and information, suggesting alternative interpretations and narratives. Born and educated in Glasgow, Malcolm is currently based in Copenhagen.