Mark Leckey has a cumulative practice in which everything he has done leads to what comes next. The use of meticulously sourced and reconfigured archival footage in his work predates the Internet, which has popularised this kind of practice. His ongoing interests in music and its subcultures, as well as in the fetishisation of material objects, have also been central to his approach.
A specific long-standing reference for Leckey is Felix the Cat, who is also the subject of his Arts Council Collection 70th Anniversary Commission. The work, feelinthecat, was inspired by a found photograph of an actor wearing a Mickey Mouse costume at Disneyland. The installation consists of an immersive dome, shaped like an abstracted head of Felix the Cat, which houses two screens showing a motion capture of the artist transforming into Felix the Cat, tail, fur and all.
Felix the Cat represents Leckey’s obsession with moving image and broadcast technology (the cartoon cat was famously the first picture transmitted on TV in 1929). Perhaps Felix the Cat is an avatar for Leckey himself, and feelinthecat imagines the moment Leckey achieves his final transformation into him. For Leckey, the idea of turning into an animal incites both fear and desire: fear of humiliation at being turned into an animal against his will, and desire for the loss of pride and the spiritual awakening that might accompany it.
- Artwork Details:
- Material description: Mixed media with video
- Credit line: A 70th Anniversary Commission for the Arts Council Collection.© the artist.
- Medium: Film and Audio Visual
- Accession number: ACC21/2015