Ian Kirkpatrick

We Have Never Been Modern
Digital print on cardboard

Artist Statement

We Have Never Been Modern is an artistic response to the other works in the Ethnographic Terminalia exhibition.  It draws together fragments of their imagery and text as a means of untangling themes and ideas central to these projects—and to contemporary artistic practice in general.  By considering these issues within the context of Bruno Latour’s book We Have Never Been Modern, this piece attempts to examine the larger networks within which artistic inquiry operates—both today and in the past.

Ian Kirkpatrick’s work often uses modern-day disposable objects, such as cardboard boxes and paper plates, as analogues for the exploration of traditional forms (for example ancient Greek amphorae and Delftware ceramics).  We Have Never Been Modern expands this exploration to examine the sculptural and decorative possibilities of disposable consumer products themselves.


Ian Kirkpatrick is a Canadian contemporary artist currently based in the UK.  His work has been exhibited across England and internationally, and is currently on tour related to the upcoming 2102 Olympic Games.  This Fall he will be speaking about his sculptural practice at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.