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In Advance of the Institution can be described as a textbook for John Isaacs’ ‘world view’, a view which emphasises that: “The common thread in all of the varying definitions of language is the concept of rifts between individual people, animals, even inanimate objects and how these gaps may best be bridged.” Compositing numerous sourced texts, by writers such as H.G. Wells, Freud, Jung, Einstein, Adam Smith, and The Bible, alongside reproductions of Isaacs’ work, In Advance of the Institution constructs an intriguing and engaging lateral narrative that underlies the difference and similarities between ideas, objects, and the actions of individuals, in relation to social constructs.
Although John Isaacs is generally regarded as a sculptor, his praxis incorporates a range of different mediums – from found object constructions, to video, and photographs. This range emphasises his world view that buried under the surface of our apparent isolation from one another lies a universal connection – from the physical functioning of the bodies we inhabit to the dreams, successes and failures of the individual and society. In that sense, In Advance of the Institution entirely encapsulates and reflects Isaacs’ practice, and with 86 pages of text and full colour reproductions, this publication stands out as an exceptionally interesting piece of art in its own right.
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John Isaacs was born in Lancaster, UK in 1968 and studied at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Dijon in 1990; completed a BA in fine art at Cheltenham Art College in 1991, and an MA in sculpture at London Slade School of Art in 1993.
He has exhibited extensively on an international level. Exhibitions include Wonderful Life, Lisson Gallery, London, 1993; Young British Artists 6, Saatchi Gallery, London, 1996; Spectacular Bodies, Hayward Gallery, London, 2000; Century City, Tate Modern, 2001; Minimal Maximal, Kyoto National Museum of Art, Japan, 2001; Voices from the ID, Beaconsfield, London, 2002; Mike Kelley - The Uncanny, Tate Liverpool, 2004; Les Grandes Spectacles, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, 2005; Murdeme Collection, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2006-2007. Isaacs was guest lecturer at The Getty Foundation Los Angeles in 2005 and had his third solo show with Museum 52 in October 2007.