S.M.A.K. Ghent

S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst | Jan Hoetplein 1
B-9000 Ghent

plan route show map

artist / participant

press release

The Cemetery of Reason is conceived as a mid-career survey of the American artist Ed Templeton (b. 1972 Orange County L.A.). The S.M.A.K. will be assembling into dazzling clusters of images: a selection of work he has done over the last fifteen years. Ed Templeton spent his youth in a world of skateboarding and punk music. While still very young he became a professional skateboarder. Besides skateboarding, he was also passionate about drawing and painting. Since the mid-nineties photography has been an integral part of his work. In the same way as he was never able to choose between skateboarding and being an artist – they fuel each other – nor has he ever been able to limit himself to one particular medium. In this exhibition more than 1200 photos, paintings and sculptures complement each other, and are of equal worth, without hierarchy.

Templeton mainly documents his own life and that of the people around him. He portraits himself and his wife Deanna, friends, family and the many people he meets on his skateboard tours. The boys and girls who hang around near a skate park, family trips, the bloody falls, the late-night parties and the intimate encounters with his wife in anonymous hotel rooms… His career as a pro skateboarder means he spends a lot of time with youngsters who are at an uncertain phase of discovery in their lives. With dreams, hope, worries, the formation of identity and the presentation of the self to the fore. Templeton is 'one of them', a pro skate legend and an 'example'. This gives him the opportunity to come very close to the world they live in and to record it. He depicts their sexuality, fears, aggression, joy and problems but does not judge them. The Cemetery of Reason tells the story of a pro skateboarder, a photographer, a drawer, a painter, etc. A stor y which, although it focuses on his own life and those of the people around him, transcends the autobiographical and exposes social and societal phenomena unhesitatingly but without pointing a finger.

Catalogue: The exhibition is to be accompanied by the first book on Ed Templeton's work to be published by an art institution. It contains an extensive survey of Templeton's artistic practices and at the same time examines the various layers of meaning that make their appearance between the clusters of images.

Ed Templeton
The Cemetery of Reason
Kurator: Thomas Caron