Willie Doherty: UNSEEN
A major exhibition of 20 photographic and four video works by Willie Doherty, two-time Turner prize nominee and co-presented by Nerve Centre and Matt's Gallery, London.
The major retrospective, which ran from September through until January 2014 at the City Factory Gallery, provided a critical overview of Doherty’s photographs and videos made on the streets of his native city and its hinterland, presenting new insight into the artist’s working methods and rationale.
UNSEEN examined how the artist evolved the use of image and text in his early black and white works (1985–92) to engage with the complexities of representing a contested landscape.
Not only that, Doherty presented a new group of photographs made this year in Derry~Londonderry, providing an opportunity for the artist to reflect on how the city has evolved and how his own working methods and processes continue to address the problem of photographing the contemporary city. He also unveiled for the first time a number of works from his 1980s and '90s Lapse series.
Since 1985 Doherty has recorded the way in which the city has been shaped and altered in response to unfolding political events as he explored its streets through the simple acts of walking and looking. The exhibition's title referred to Doherty’s self-conscious method of using the camera in a context where it was imperative for him to avoid undue attention and to minimize the risk of being mistaken for a photojournalist or a tourist. UNSEEN revealed how Doherty has used the techniques of photojournalism, documentary landscape photography and the appropriation of images and texts to create a body of photographic work that explores the fine line between fiction and non-fiction.