Photo by Ari Saarto
David Franklin is a visual artist working primarily with painting, drawing, and video. His work is situated at the intersection of contemporary art, cinema, and literature, and draws on elements of each to engage with the relationship between subjective experience and our surrounding environments, which in his work can be geometric as well as conceptual spaces. These explorations of environment also include a preoccupation with natural forces, geology, and astrobiology, disciplines which clash in his work against mythology and other cultural interpretations of the non-human world.
He has exhibited and participated in residency programmes internationally, including residencies at Hangar and La Escocesa (Barcelona), and Youkobo Art Space (Tokyo), and has received grants from the Generalitat de Catalunya (government of Catalonia) and the Institut Ramon Llull (Catalonia), among others. His current project Out of Earth and Sky, an ongoing series of works made in collaboration with several butoh dancers (including members of the groups Dairakudakan and Sankai Juku), was selected for a development grant and production workshop by the Bucharest International Dance Film Festival, and has been supported by grants from Youkobo Art Space and the Ministry of Culture, Japan; the Institut Ramon Llull; and Hangar, centre for research and production in visual arts (Barcelona). The first film from this project, A Crooked Path Through the Dark (2022), has been screened at festivals and presentations internationally.
In 2023 he curated a special programme of butoh films for the Choreoscope International Dance Film Festival (Barcelona), with screenings on the streaming platform Filmin. In 2022 he was a member of the cinema research project “Labotorio Historia(s) de la Experimentation en el Cine” led by director Andrés Duque at Barcelona art centre Santa Mónica, for which he produced the video artwork A Spectral Viewer, exploring collapsing boundaries of realism and reality in media and the consequences of our increasingly virtual existence on the other side of the screen. From 2015 until 2017 he was the curator and programmer for a series of publicly-funded film screenings at Barcelona art centre La Escocesa called “Projections from the Underground”. He has also produced research projects and artworks in collaboration with institutions such as Idensitat (Barcelona), and given artist presentations at art and academic institutions including Musashino Art University, Tokyo.
2018 Curse, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan.
2015 Reclamation, Espai M, La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2012 TIER, KKKB, Barcelona, Spain.
2010 New Work, Nroom artspace, Tokyo, Japan.
2009 Ruins, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan.
Selected Group Exhibitions and Screenings
2023 A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Official Selection, Choreoscope International Dance Film Festival, Barcelona, Spain.
2023 A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Official Selection, Moviate Underground Film Festival, Pennsylvania, USA.
2023 A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Official Selection, Internationales Festival Zeichen der Nacht, Berlin, Germany. >> Main Jury Award, International Competition Cinema in Transgression.
2023 A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Honourable Mention, Realtime Film Festival, London, United Kingdom.
2021 Our Garden Needs its Flowers, Tecla Sala, Hospitalet, Spain.
2019 Apariencia y experiencia, Art Contemporani Subsól, Hospitalet, Spain.
2016 Estructuras de Excepción, Homesession, Barcelona, Spain.
2016 Villa Casas Foundation Prize for Painting (shortlisted work), Can Framis Museum, Barcelona.
2015 Unsettlements, Stillpoint Spaces, Berlin, Germany.
2015 Netherfield Park, Espai M, Barcelona, Spain.
2014 Artificialia, Cyan Gallery, Barcelona, Spain.
2014 Festival Plaga, A*desk, Barcelona, Spain.
2014 Company, Official selection, Short Shorts Film Festival, Mexico City, Mexico.
2014 El Cabinet del Dr Frankenstein, La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2013 David Franklin / Alberto Peral / Germán Portal / Isabela Servera: A Game of the Everyday, L.A.C. Narbonne, France.
2013 D’entre les runes, La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2012 Temps Circulars, Tecla Sala, Hospitalet, Spain.
2011 Solstici 011, Tecla Sala, Hospitalet, Spain.
2011 Contemporary Art of Japan, Birkenfelds Galerija, Riga, Latvia.
2010 Niche -家に返ろう- , Nroom artspace, Tokyo, Japan.
2009 ULTRA Emerging Directors’ Art Fair, Spiral, Tokyo, Japan.
2009 -Niche- return home, Nroom artspace, Tokyo, Japan.
Artist In Residence
2017 – 2018 Youkobo Art Space, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
2017 – 2018 Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
2016 – 2017 Hangar, Barcelona, Spain.
2012 – 2016 La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2010 – 2012 TPK, Tecla Sala, Hospitalet, Spain.
2008 – 2009 Youkobo Art Space, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
2017 Grant for Promotion of Visual Art Abroad. Institut Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain.
2017 Resident Returnee Programme, Youkobo Art Space / Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan.
2013 Grant for Promotion of Visual Art Abroad (group award). Institut Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain.
2013 Grant for Production and Exhibition of New Work. La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2012 Grant for artistic creation for visual artists. The Department of Culture, Government of Catalonia, Spain.
2022 Projections from the Underground, writings on cinema by David Franklin. More info here.
2021 Untitled Drawings, by David Franklin. Self-published. ISBN: 978-84-09-29872-3 More info here.
2019 Paratext #36, by David Franklin. Hangar, Barcelona, Spain. Link to read here.
2018 Paratext Vol. 2, edited and published by Hangar, Barcelona, Spain.
2016 Empire of Rats, by David Franklin, published by Idensitat, Barcelona, Spain. More info here.
Curation / Presentations / Other Activities
2023 Curator, programmer, and writer for special programme on butoh and film, Dancing from the Shadows, for the Choreoscope International Dance Film Festival, Barcelona, with online screenings on the streaming platform Filmin.
2022 Member of the research group Laboratorio Historia(s) de la Experimantación en el Cine, led by director Andrés Duque, at Santa Mónica art centre, Barcelona.
2020 Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan. Artist presentation.
2019 Bucharest International Dance Film Festival. Out of Earth and Sky selected for the Expand Lab for innovative projects in development.
2018 Crystallizing Ideas – Youkobo Returnee Residence Program, artist talk by David Franklin, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan.
2017 Laboratorio del No Hacer, presentation of “Welcome, Visitors”, Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona.
2017 Paratext no. 15, presentation of “Welcome, Visitors”, Hangar, Barcelona, Spain.
2015 – 2017 Curator / programmer for Projections from the Underground, film screenings of underground and experimental cinema at La Escocesa, Barcelona.
2015 – 2016 Participant in the workshop / research project Estructuras de Excepción, led by Ángela Bonadies and organised by Idensitat, Barcelona.
English and Film Studies, double major BA (Hons). University College Dublin (NUI), Dublin, Ireland.