Rory Macbeth
The Mare’s Nest: A History of Provenance

Rory Macbeth The Mare's Nest: A History of Provenance 2006, performance still from Art Now Live Work exhibitionk

Rory Macbeth
The Mare’s Nest: A History of Provenance 2006, performance still

Photo: Christian McDonald
© The artist

Rory Macbeth’s practice probes the gap between ideals and their realisation, between what is presented to us and what we actually get. It is the effort to uphold the ideal in the face of reality that Macbeth is interested in; in the tragicomedy of the pretence that ensues. For The Mare’s-Nest: A History of Provenance Macbeth presented a tour of some of theTate’s favorite works, giving entirely fictitious explanations for the works, under the guise of a history of provenances (based on an equally fictitious doctoral theses… The History Enzyme – A History of Truths and the Truth about History).

A short film documents the performance, and is accompanied by 6 essays explaining the false histories in greater depth.