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About the Work

I took these six images in 1973 when I visited the Cologne Art Fair and photographed each of the booths, the dealers and the visitors. Cologne was then the undisputed German contemporary art market capital, since superseded by Berlin. Soon after this visit, together with fellow artist Nicholas Wegner, we set up our own exhibition space called The Gallery London, an early precedent of artist-run spaces but in our case, without any show-cased artist. Our first show without any show-cased artist was 7th Kolner Kunstmarkt. For this 2012 version, I selected six images from the roll of 36 I had taken there in 1973 but had not been shown before. What I found most interesting looking at them after nearly forty years was how little art styles had changed but how much people had, such as their smoking customs. Although Ode to Cologne refers to a smoker's art fair, is a homage to an institution and is a pun, more importantly, I do believe these images of long ago hold a contemporary resonance on the concept of the fair, its presentation and the consumption of art, all bought into sharper focus simply by the passing of time.

″I still use the same approach to my work: I get an idea, think of the title and then make the work. So not much has changed since 1964″

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