PLAZA is a collaborative project between London based artists Oliver Herbert and Edward Simpson. PLAZA is concerned with the glamour and aspirations of public space. They produce a popular blog and regular exhibitions in the UK and abroad.
Stockists of PLAZA publications:
Printed Matter, NYC
X Marks the Bokship, London
Gateau Shop, London
‘Whoever we are, wherever we live, we are part of an historical process that far out spans our own generation’.
Through the process of collecting/gathering objects, images and ideas, Ed Simpson attempts to connect disparate source material in order to form his own visual language with the aim of questioning the meaning of imagery. He is fascinated by the clash of cultures, a mixing of the symbols of civilisations.
As part of this process an archive- an image bank of sorts- is formed, from which Simpson curates his findings to create new relationships and contexts with an often ironic approach. These narratives and connections can take any form, be it installation, film or collage, which enable the building up of layers, physically and narratively.
Recurring interests range from urban planning, conspiracy theories, commercial visual merchandising and space travel, along with the visuals of advertising and scientific diagrams. The role of the museum to curate the history of mankind, to control how one approaches history, is questioned, mixing and playing with meanings, contexts and periods.
Oliver Herbert uses the glossy and glamorous visual language of fashion and the luxury industries to playfully handle problematic and inflammatory subjects such as death, poverty and globalisation.
His work lures the viewer in with shiny and sparkly materials to surprise them with darker themes. He openly enjoys incongruity —when things are not supposed to work together, both culturally and aesthetically.
Artistic and literary influences include Charles Avery, William Blake, Margaret Atwood, Phil Collins and Greyson Perry. The world that Oliver Herbert’s work inhabits is set in a futuristic dystopia overtaken by a desire for indulgence.
Oliver Herbert makes art that is opportunistic, which directly responds to global social and political events using current trends and fashion as a gateway for people to access the conceptual core of the work.
Oliver has exhibited and travelled extensively internationally. Recently showing as part of the Tehran Biennial 2009 entitled Urban Jealousy. Previous important projects include being selected for a solo show as part of New Work Scotland, a collaboration with Emporio Armani and ‘Vogue India’ an ambitious video work Oliver Herbert directed and produced in Mumbai, India. Oliver is also a regular contributor to Bareface, a Scottish visual culture journal.