Born in Luton in 1973, Mark Titchner graduated from the Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design in 1995. His reputation was established by a series of mainly London-based exhibitions, including City Racing (A Partial History) at the ICA and Playing Amongst the Ruins at the Royal College of Art, both in 2001, The Galleries Show at the Royal Academy in 2002 and the British Council touring exhibition Electric Earth in 2003.
These culminated in Titchner’s 2003 solo exhibition, Be Angry But Don't Stop Breathing, which was put together as part of the Art Now series at Tate Britain. The exhibition’s title was derived from a huge vinyl banner artwork on which the slogan was displayed to dramatic effect against the backdrop of a digitally generated starburst and other ‘primitive’ computer-style graphics.
How To Change Behaviour (Tiny Masters of the World Come Out), installation view, Turner Prize 2006 at Tate Britain (Courtesy Vilma Gold, London)
The use of snatched slogans or fragments of text, divorced from their original contexts, is a central feature of Titchner’s work. By combining words and images from diverse sources and styles, he strips away accepted meanings and purpose, challenging viewers to make their own judgements. For example, his work We Will Not Follow, We Will Not Lead mixes words from Nietzche with images by Andy Warhol and William Morris.
Ergo Ergot, installation view, Turner Prize 2006 at Tate Britain (Courtesy Vilma Gold, London)
Kitchner was nominated for the 2006 Turner Prize for his solo exhibition at the Arnolfini in Bristol. This was based around a series of sculptural installations such as How To Change Behaviour (Tiny Masters Of The World Come Out) and Ergo Ergot in which Titchner uses hypnotic spinning discs, film loops and optical illusions to induce hallucinatory effects and challenge the viewer’s perception and understanding.
In 2007, Titchner’s major new installation The Future Is Behind Us marked the launch of a new space in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.