Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Piece together

A solo show always feels like a full stop, not sure if I’m only ending a sentence of a paragraph here... But obviously its takes time to start composing the next line. The thing needs dissecting work out the next steps. I don’t get the opportunities to do talks very often, so I did one in order to get some feedback about the show. Mainly attended by friends and supporters, it was helpful trying to piece together the story of the work. I say story - and perhaps these days, I feel more inclined to think this way. All art is a fiction of some sort or another. It’s all made up, and sometimes we forget that when reasoning every aspect of its existence. I wrote the press release with this in mind.

Generally I made more of an effort to talk to people about the work during the show. Half of the stuff gets lost in the subconscious anyway, but the odd reference lingers. I particularly remember talking to a painter about the politics of colour development, i.e. dyes and pigments through history, the social as well as economic consequences of those quests. I found this quite pertinent to the symbolism of Maurice himself as a patron saint of dyers and knights. He functions like a mordent stabilising the huge multi ethic community of Christianity; some say his story was fabricated in order to do just that.

For me the show references several interests... On one level the relationship with the spaces I made the work in and for; i.e. the artist’s studio as a controlled and isolated environment similar to a lab. The studio figured in the show through the black board, as a device pointing to the potential of reconfiguration. There was also the temporal idea of process, introduced by a sound sculpture playing noises in the studio (which consisted mainly of scissor clattering, the drone of clippers, music and my mumbling) at various intervals. The sound also had an incongruity with other components of the show. The church (Dilston Grove), where I made the original piece as a sight specific work, imbued with all the meaning of that context. I’m interested in what happens at the point of removal? How the object could continue to relate to its changing conditions – if at all. In my mind the sculpture and relic exist on the same plane, both requiring huge amounts belief and faith to function. Then there was the challenge of building the current exhibition space into the work. New components were developed based on the characteristics of number82.

With a few years under your belt, you welcome earlier characteristics and methods in a less conscious way. Functionality is now an aspect of the work, but not definitive one. In fact I’ve been introduced to Navid Nurr recently, who often talks about the functional relationships between his works. In his earlier work he also highlighted the appropriation of ideas or concepts in contemporary art making, which illustrates all the more how nothing exists in isolation. Certainly with earlier Artnomad work, I’d grown accustomed to reworking, representing and adding components to each piece. Creating a world of relations around one object. In some instances it was difficult to point to one singularity. But I think I don’t believe in that, I prefer the idea of multiplicities - hence the more cosmic attitude towards the exhibition. I find the connection between cosmology, religion and philosophy intriguing. I recently came across a book documenting discussions on quantum physics between the Dalai Lama and physicists. One of the biggest steps, with this show has been the use of recognisable religious symbols. The animation (which I think is still in process) tries to show the similarities between these constructs, but also the differences inhabiting one entity. I spose its a public admittance of my need for spirituality. I’m starting to realise though, that this can be pieced together through combinations of stuff scavenged and borrowed from wherever and whenever…