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Rene's Jacket (2018)





Inkjet print


26.7 x 40 cm (unframed) cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society with support of Bianca Roden, 2022/23

Ownership history:

Purchased from Arcadia Missa, London by the Contemporary Art Society with the support of Bianca Roden, 27 January 2023; presented to Walker Art Gallery (National Museums Liverpool), 2022/23


Black (presence)
Rene Matić’s work spans several disciplines in a meeting place they describe as ‘rude(ness)’ – to interrupt and exist in/between. Matić takes their departure from different subcultures, dances and music movements, most prominently skinhead, ska and Two-tone. Skinhead culture was born of the exchange between Caribbean and white working-class people in the 1960s and then later, the aesthetics were co-opted by white supremacists. Matić’s ‘rude(ness)’ is partly a reference to the rude boy subculture, which the Jamaican diaspora brought to Britain. They are interested in exploring conceptions of being an outsider and ‘Britishness’, as well as the contradictions and diversity within these chosen or assigned categories. 

These photographs are part of the ongoing series flags for countries that don’t exist but bodies that do, which began in 2018. They document twenty-first-century Britain and Britishness, as interwoven with intimate portraits of the artist, their family and friends. The photographs feature candid moments as well as staged displays. Additionally, they serve as a constructed archive for Matić, as the artist has very few photos of their dad’s side of the family. In this way, they answer their own questions about whether the information they have is enough to construct an identity showing different parts of life that create their world. 

The Walker Art Gallery has a small but representative collection of documentary photography, including works by Martin Parr, Tom Wood and Zanele Muholi. The Walker’s collections illustrate important cultural events and moments in recent history, including the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 and Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The gallery also aims to actively collect works by LGBTQ+ people, global majority artists and those that engage with Black British history. Additionally, one of the Walker’s collection priorities is to have emerging artists associated with the North West, and Matić previously lived in Liverpool.

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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