Harley Price is a London-born and based multimedia artist. His work explores the ambient phenomena of occupation and preoccupation and considers the parameters of control and the use of orchestrated fear as a control mechanism and instrument of abuse. Monumentalizing and memorializing loss, failure and defeat, Harley’s work sheds light on issues pertaining to injustice and oppression, examining collective guilt and innocence and the subconscious desire for salvation and absolution from complicity and guilt.
Art responds to and creates memory where there was none or it has vanished, it draws on communication and history and is, by its very nature, memorialistic. A memorial needs to move intellectually and physically, sensually and viscerally, without the need for diatribes, to make us alert and aware, to remember, to unite, to divide, to provoke, to intimidate: to control.
Through solemn dissent and a refusal to sentimentalize conflict and abuse, Harley seeks to unsettle, challenge and provoke, disturbing the viewers expectations and memorialising those we habitually conceive to be "the Other" - the hoary generic concept of a homogeneous “Us” versus an alien “Them”, incriminating and exculpating no one and everyone
Harley’s practice is driven by his need to question the duality of both his own and our own role and existence within a precarious, iniquitously consumptive power structure and system as we enter the Anthropocene - a New World Order. Are we renegades or complicit, culprits or victims? Is the Artist an antagonist or protagonist, malefactor or benefactor, agent provocateur or collaborator? Nothing is intrinsic, no one is inherently either, we exist within a stasis of constant flux, interchanging continually between collaborator and resister, the physical and the emotional, the subjective and the objective, the conscious and the subconscious.
Harley creates works that possess a haunting, residual, dystopian quality. His work departs from the principle of chaos and destruction as a catalyst for creation, embracing the contingency of chance and accident in process. He iconoclastically appropriates pan-historical, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic elements as metaphors and engages with a wide range of processes and materials. The cultural, fetishistical and textural elements of the materials, often found or redundant, and their imbued history are axiomatically incorporated into the work, simultaneously creating a sense of occupancy and vacancy; the icon is not broken but transformed.
Through the act of viewing the object in its sublime physicality and material form the object assumes a subliminal position of power in the mind of the viewer. The viewer is drawn into his dominium; multi-layered narratives force the subjective displacement of the viewer from the peripheral to the central, transforming the viewer into perpetrator, victim and witness.