Ian Burns Too Much Is Real installation view UTS Gallery 2014. Courtesy the artist, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney & Melbourne and mother’s tankstation, Dublin. Photo: David Lawrey

Ian Burns Exhibition at UTS Gallery Too Much is Real, is part of a residency the artist undertook at UTS Gallery from February to April  2014. In the exhibition are two previously made works Martha’s shadow (2010) and Strange Cloud Above (2012) and two works made during residency Pretty Vacant (2014) and Breath (AC) (2014). 

Too Much is Real and the title of the work Pretty Vacant references the Sex pistols song Pretty Vacant released in 1977. The Sex Pistols were one of the first punk groups in England and have become internationally famous. The song is about the disenchantment of young people in Thatcherite England. The lyrics emphasise the disenchantment and ‘up yours’ reaction form young people to what they saw as a world that wasn’t listening to their needs.


Don’t ask us to attend ‘cos we’re not all there
Oh don’t pretend ‘cos I don’t care
I don’t believe illusions ‘cos too much is real
So stop you’re cheap comment ‘cos we know what we feel


Read the full lyrics

Watch the video from the Sex Pistols’ ‘Filthy Lucre Tour 1996’

Watch Ian Burns speak about the exhibition