Ikon presents a new exhibition in collaboration with EACC Castellón, exhibiting the work of Swiss artist Beat Streuli. By exhibiting at Ikon in group shows and off-site projects since 2001, Streuli has developed an on-going relationship with the gallery.

The space will house a variety of media displays – photography, video, and digital projections – in the pursuit of creating a modern portrait of urban life. Streuli aspires to reflect reality and informality, as well as to uphold his reputation as an international artist through the inclusion of subjects from all across the world. Through the representation of a range of locations, cultures and races, Streuli captures the essence of diversity, as well as his personal lack of prejudice.

The works feature Europeans, Indians, Arabs, Spaniards and Afro-Americans carrying out ordinary activities, such as crossing the road, talking to friends or chatting on their mobile phones. Streuli travelled across the world to capture imagery for his photographic collection. By travelling to Brussels, New York, Cape Town, São Paulo, Sydney and Guangzhou, the exhibition forms a global portrait. As these images will be exhibited in Birmingham, a city with a widely multi-cultural demographic, this reflection of a world full of diversity is particularly relevant.

Since the 1990s, Streuli has been consolidating his perspective on his surroundings, and today aims to encapsulate our streets and current environment. Streuli finds more artistic value in scenes that are candidly shot, reflecting a more natural setting. Close-ups also reveal his preference for intimate shots. With this in mind, the works will certainly be highly engaging and reflective through the rendering of something real; images that depict authentic gestures and everyday events. By representing different cultures as equals, profound questions about humanity are provoked.

To accompany the exhibition, Streuli has produced a limited edition print which will be available at Ikon. There is also a catalogue for further information about Streuli which includes text by the artist himself and articles by the cultural theorist Sadie Plant.

Ikon Gallery, Birmingham until 3 February

Words: Victoria Mitchell
Image credit: Beat Streuli. Photograph from series St. Petersburg 2010. Courtesy the artist.

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