STUART BRISLEY, It Can Be Done, 1986

It Can Be Done, 1986

Photographic triptych


It Can Be Done, 1986 

It Can Be Done photographic triptych.

The left hand image is of Karl Marx taken from a poster advertising an annual Marxist Summer school at the University of London . 

The centre image is of the same poster which was pasted over a pop poster, singer Feargal Sharkey where some of the Marxist poster has been torn away revealing a part of Sharkey’s face underneath. It appears as though the partly torn image of Karl Marx acts as a mask partly covering Sharkey’s head. 

The  right hand image contains a text is in Russian and English: It Can Be Done.

All three images were found in the street at different times. The torn image of  Sharkey /Marx was the first I found . Wishing to extend the  potential narrative I searched for an untouched poster of the Marxist summer school. And I found one eighteen months after summer school had taken place. 

The first complete image of Marx was selected as seen in the triptych. I then looked around for another image to complete the work and then found the poster with the words It Can Be Done.

I see this work as a paradoxical narrative . On the one hand expressing the unfolding influence of Marxist thought ( this work was made in the last decade of the Cold War).  The central image represents a contingent entry of the image of Marx  being a sign, a symbolic representation of ideas that were  and remain significant to the world order. In retrospect this was the culminating stage in the historical conflict between socialism and capitalism. 


Stuart Brisley, 2014