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Graham Fagen, somebodyelse

The Changing Room, Stirling
(14 February - 11 April 2009)

The Changing Room is a recent recipient of the New Work fund through the Visual Art department.


somebodyelse is an exhibition of portraits by Graham Fagen. They are selected from various projects by the artist over the past decade and shown together at The Changing Room in Stirling for the first time. 

Installation View somebodyelse, The Changing Room, Photo: Alan Dimmick 2009

Graham Fagen's work

Fagen’s photographic portraits of real, imagined, historical and contemporary characters illuminate and explore the idea of identity and performance in portraiture.

Fagen aims to “exchange experience” with the viewer, and draws our attention to how we approach portraits and our expectations of what they tell us about the sitter.

Influenced by Alasdair Gray’s 1981 novel Lanark, in which Gray created a fictitious city called Unthank, based on the city of Glasgow.

Nothank (Character Stills) detail, Graham Fagan, 2000

Fagen made a video documentary in 2002 about a housing scheme outside Irvine in the fictitious land of Nothank. Stills in somebodyelse focus on 4 people from the Nothank estate – town planners and residents - collectively entitled Nothank (Character stills).

The work plays with the role of fiction and truth in TV documentary and the genre’s relationship to dramatisation.

The Changing Room exhibition

Fagen’s latest work, a new commission by The Changing Room, is a triptych representing three of Scotland’s major institutions: banks, government and judiciary. Heads of Scotland, 2009 questions what a portrait of contemporary Scotland looks like; a portrait of our “cultural formers”. 

Heads of Scotland, Graham Fagan, commissioned by The Changing Room 2009

It features a monstrous collage of current and former chief executives of the Halifax Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland, alongside Fagen’s portraits of Alex Salmond, First Minister and Arthur Hamilton, Lord President, head of the Judiciary.

Artist Biography

Graham Fagen was born in Glasgow in 1966 where he now lives and works. Fagen studied at the Glasgow School of Art (1984-1988) and the Kent Institute of Art and Design (1989-1990).

In 2007 Fagen was commissioned by Glasgow Museums to present downpresser, a major exhibition at the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art for the commemoration of the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery. He gained great critical acclaim for Killing Time, DCA, Dundee 2006 – a collaborative project with Graham Eatough, Director of Theatre Company Suspect Culture.

BPC aged 12, Graham Fagan, 2008

The Changing Room exhibition is funded by:

  • Scottish Arts Council
  • Stirling Council
  • Carnegie Trust
  • Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

Related Links
* The Changing Room
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