Graham Fagen examines how cultures are shaped in relation to each other, what he calls “cultural forms and formers.” His work mixes media and crosses continents, combining video, photography, and sculpture with text, live music, and even plants to trace the ways that people understand and influence cultural production in other parts of the world. For his critically acclaimed Clean Hands Pure Heart (2005), he collaborated with musician Ghetto Priest to record a dub reggae rendition of celebrated Scottish lyricist Robert Burns’s famous songs Auld Lang Syne and The Slave’s Lament. In this and later works, Fagen melds the history of Scotland’s involvement in the slave trade with the present-day popularity of Caribbean music in the Scottish Isles, linking seemingly disparate cultures in an unexpected exchange of cultural formation.
Fagen’s recent solo exhibitions include Somebody Else, the Changing Room, Stirling, England (2009); Downpresser, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland (2007); and Killing Time with Graham Eatough, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland (2006). He represented Scotland in the Zenomap exhibition at the 2003 Venice Biennale and has shown work in numerous other group exhibitions, including Breakthrough, Imperial War Museum, London, England (2008); the Art & Industry Biennale, Christchurch, New Zealand (2004); the Busan Biennial, South Korea (2004); and the British Art Show 5 (2000). Fagen received his Interdisciplinary Masters in Art & Architecture at the Kent Institute of Art & Design, Canterbury, England. He lives and works in Glasgow.