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Rene at Home (2022)

Rene Matić

South London Gallery

Rene at Home (2022)

Photo credit: Josef Konczak





Inkjet print


40 x 26.5 (unframed) cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2022/23

Ownership history:

Purchased from Arcadia Missa by the Contemporary Art Society, 27 January 2023; presented to South London Gallery, London, 2022/23


Black (presence)
Rene Matić’s work addresses themes of identity and nationality, as well as feminism and queerness. Matić takes their departure from different subcultures, dances and music movements, most prominently skinhead, ska and Two-tone. Matić’s work uses these to queer and show the connections between West Indian and white working-class culture in Britain. Their work spans several disciplines in a meeting place they describe as ‘rude(ness)’ – to interrupt and exist in/between. This is partly a reference to the rude boy subculture, which the Jamaican diaspora brought to Britain.

These photographs are part of the ongoing series flags for countries that don’t exist but bodies that do, which began in 2018. This series is a personal diary documenting Matić’s community and family, both chosen and otherwise, as well as being a portrait and deconstruction of contemporary Britain. Matić had a solo show at South London Gallery in 2022, which featured a room focused on the artist’s recordings of their lived experience in Peckham, and two artworks were chosen from this room for acquisition. Flags recur in Matić’s practice: they can be symbols of concepts as disparate as patriotism and protest. Kirby Estate Bermondsey shows the St George’s Cross, and through this, Matić seeks to question who is included and excluded from a claim to ‘Britishness’.

Rene at Home is a self-portrait by the artist. Themes of faith emerge through subtle details such as a crucifix tattooed on the artist’s hand, placing identity and spirituality in dialogue. The artist is interested in exploring the contradictions and diversity within these chosen or assigned categories.

These photographs strengthen the photographic collection of the South London Gallery while also affirming their commitment to diversity. Acquiring work about and from the local community ensures relevance for those that visit.

All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited. The collection that owns this artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

For further information, please consult our section of our copyright policy.

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