Sunday, 30 November 2008

Geeky knitting

Crocheting the Lorenz manifold


MAO - Seth Price/Kelley Walker/Continuous Project

Seeing as I'm now obsessed with video! Keeping thinking about this exhibition which was on at Modern Art Oxford when I worked there. This super 8 film by - one of them can't remember of the tumbling like sea - something very imaginary about it thats stayed with me.

Riddle Me - Danielle Arnaud contemporary art

Went to see this exhibition today, attracted by the blurb:

‘Now we have machines to do our dreaming for us. But within that ‘video gadgetry’ might lie the source of a continuation, even a transformation, of storytelling and story performance. The human imagination is infinitely resilient…’ Angela Carter ,1990

The artists showing in this exhibition investigate different aspects of storytelling, fantasy, identity and the tragi-comic sensibility of materials. The work creates relationships between innocence and violence, light and darkness.

Particularly struck by video installation by Sophie Lascelles, and maps of the waking world by Oona Grimes.

Picked up the gallery's business card as I was interested in the image by Heather & Ivan Morison.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Roger Hiorns - The Magicial Crystal Room

Loved this - glad it was extended so I could see it. Bit smaller than expected but pretty breathtaking!

British artist Roger Hiorns makes exceptional use of unlikely materials: detergent, disinfectant, perfume, fire and copper sulphate crystals. Transforming steel poles, car engines and cardboard architectural models into crystalline forms, Hiorns effects surprising, physical and aesthetic transformations on found objects.

In SEIZURE, Hiorns' most ambitious work to date, the artist precipitates an unexpected sculptural form within the fabric of a housing estate near London Bridge. Architecture and modernist sculpture continue to be important touchstones for Hiorns' work, and both have strongly informed the development of this major new commission. For his first work within an urban site Hiorns' makes a radical shift of scale and context, and has developed an extraordinary chemical intervention in the heart of the city.

SEIZURE continues Artangel's long tradition of transforming urban housing into large-scale immersive works of art.

Bronze stairs

Blurb about Staircase piece - notes ONLY

So, this piece, which I am still working on, is composed and inspired by elements of a dream. I am particularly interested in the alternative reality of the subconscious, and attempting to create physical manifestations of these ethereal experiences and discover ways to transfer these emotive thoughts from my mind into objects.
I have been collecting dreams through sketches and voice recordings over the last few months and I have been focussing on a couple of the strongest ones that have incorporated some elements of landscape, like this staircase. Initially I was only building individual things from the dreams, say a staircase, particular chairs or objects that were represented but once I had built the staircase I realised that all my sketches were showing a narrative from the dream and I have been experimenting with ways to represent the story. Recently I went to a great talk at the BFI and a particular phrase stuck in my head that 80% of the emotion from a film is in the soundtrack so I have built a very basic video – taken from one image and then been building the narrative using the audio part of that. So the staircase has some large gaps between the treads and the audio is me walking down the steps – seeing that I’m walking down into a news studio and then running and struggling to climb back up the stairs.

Bronze – I started working in bronze, initially by chance but I soon loved the modelling possibilities with wax which lead to ideas involving melted scenes, then cast in bronze it is sealing and crystallising something so ethereal in the most solid and substantial material is both paradoxical and exciting to me.

Miniature – by creating this work on a small scale, it involves the viewer in an intense, focused attention. A single tiny work can appear at once assertive and humble, or intimate yet oddly remote. [...] Perhaps this is why Bachelard observed that "one must go beyond logic in order to experience what is large in what is small."

But miniatures also seem to exist in a state of haunted isolation, to occupy a permanently vacated scene. Physically, we stand outside their tiny domain, and when we imaginatively enter within it, we find ourselves its sole inhabitants.

Part of their appeal is to transport us to a world that is more precise, and more meticulously elucidated, than our own; charmingly perfect, they constitute a refuge from the domain of gross physical data and corporeal failings. The halo of the ideal seems to hover overhead. [...] The stillness of miniature landscapes evinces the profound calm of a tiny parallel world forever cut off from the activity and ungainliness of our own surroundings.'

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Thursday Crit


Relational Aesthetics - Nicholas Bourriard
Francis A. Yates, The Art of Memory (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1966)
Francis A. Yates, Theatre of the World (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969)

Guilio Camillo's Memory Theatre

Doreen Massey - Collapsing distances between spaces - Interview

Tony Oursler
William Blake
Susan Hiller - interesting interview with her at Tate.
Tim Noble & Sue Webster

Dreams are only the starting point and now I've done the initial objective of getting the process of dream to object its obviously not enough just to make some objects - miniature or not from the dreams. Need to take this forward:
What am I saying? Why are my dreams interesting to others? - Bengal tigers in Scottish zoo quote from Charles Avery - just pointers? archaeological finds/evidence brought back as proof of that reality. Is this a commentary about realities?
Got to get across my wonder about objects/structures/cities that are not real only imagined. exciting. (Paul Tebbs - problem with the word wonder). I need to do some brainstorms/words for the title - interesting first time I have thought about titles being an important part of the work.
So, what am I interested in saying? Think I know it has to do with science, is reality real? Hold that thought.....

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Presentation Prep

Ahhhh - here are some videos from my phone of a) more how I wanted the projection to work - initial ideas of projecting the video clip with sound through the staircase and b) in the second one just messing about with the projector and projecting the video clip on to my pillow.

3D Lecture - Junior Phipps

Designer Maker - talk about his work. Set up Conscious Forms in 2005. Interesting work in concrete - lights and speakers. Made notes about Finance.
  • Sponsorship -
  • Asking direct, get email of person with the budget i.e. Marketing Manager or Director. Be precise and clear about what you want and the PR benefit you can be to them, chance to be associated with innovation!
  • Or can use as a tool to get free or discounted materials.
  • Other
  • Part-time lecturing about his work
  • Talks/seminars for design support agencies
You can get help with writing funding and other applications from CIDA (if in catchment area), ECCA (Enterprise Centre for the Creative Arts) and Innovatory.

Think about all the different uses you can get from your product and collaborative projects.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Others dreams

Over 16,000 dreams!

First video test for stairs piece

no sound yet!

Sound test

yey it works - awesome!

Voice notes

Consider why am I making this staircase? Its not finished - something major missing from that.

Idea of me on the staircase? two actions in the dream: SOUND VERY IMPORTANT FOR NARRATIVE
Event jumping down from the top, holding onto the bannister swinging over the gaps. carefree. Photos of me doing this? model them? then seeing a broadcast going on, embarrassment, disturbing something - quickly try to run back up, can't get across gaps.
If its going to be me? what am I wearing? tights or clothes like I wear now? commentary on me living in Camberwell now? no this isn't right! shadow of me on the stairs?
Scale - detail, or person from architectural model but really has to be me.

Video projection underneath - what like? through a hatch, screen, curved? 2d good as couldn't get into the studio - looking down but not being able to penetrate through the 2d surface - in a box restricted view? bronze is tactile - bit harsh to put in installation where you can't touch it.

Biographical element - Melanie saying why is that an interesting topic? e.g. Tracey Emin - self indulgent but could argue that she is a character that people are interested in. Mine is just about me - boring. When wrote proposal didn't realise at the time but the MA is all about me, making me feel better hum........

Targets need to set, see audio file.

Notes on Flights of Reality

Picked up this exhibition catalogue from Kettle's Yard visit. If from the exhibition Flights of Reality which was there 12 January - 3 March 2002

Now I know I'm not doing any more on fourth dimensions! but had to blog these extracts:

Charles Avery, Matthew Ritchie, Keith Tyson, Grace Weir, Keith Wilson

Flights of Reality parallels science in uncovering new routes of thought. Drawing on myth, science, empirical observation, information theories, and philsosophy, the works oscillate between the familiar and the unknown, between revealed truths and imaginary worlds. The exhibition brings together new and recent work by five contemporary artists who pursue aberrant lines of thought to create competing versions of a world nudged from its everyday axis. The works could be described as thoughts in progress mapping out patterns of the possible, or the debris of ideas that remain in the collision between science and the everyday. In their creation of new or rvial cosmologies, these playful and speculative works are reminders of the ways in which we do not see the world.

"I had the sensation of suddenly awaking on a calendarless day at a place that appeared on no map. You are free to call this sufficiency flight, if you wish." - Kobo Abe

In the amorphous chaos of the everyday, and of the unquantifiable and indetermine nature of knowledge, physicists are now proposing the theory of 'many worlds' or 'parallel universes' (Multiverse). [In Avery's work] the familiarity of the scene emphasises the chasm that has opened up between our experience of the world and the narratives used to construct it which have no basis in any observable reality.

The scale of Keith Tyson's work is immense in both production and ambitiion, which strives for nothing less than to rethink every aspect of the universe from every conceivable point of view. (Inspiring!) The improvised nature of many of the works could be described as thoughts in progress mapping out patterns of the possible.

[Charles Avery] Artists are among the most privileged members of a privileged society. The greatest of their privileges is solitude; the opportunity to imagine - 'The Freedom of the Universe'.[...]An idea is a journey, however brief. A dream is an intrepid adventure, and artists are professional dreamers. Professional, because they must bring back souvenirs. The souvenirs of their dreams are artifacts that they sell to fund their dreaming, but when these artifacts are expatriated from their realm they lose their lustre, like Bengal tigers in a Scottish zoo.[...]The problem is evident; as soon as an idea is committed to reality and subjected to reality's empirical glare, it becomes a flawed article, a shadow of its ethereal self. [...] art belongs in the ether.

The status of the object would be as a portal, or a trigger, which would invoke the art in the mind's eye of the viewer. The artworks themselves would better be described as entities, rather than objects, but the term I favour most, is ghosts.

Recent films

Saw rare films by acclaimed Brazilian artists at Wilson Rd. Part of SLG programme to do with Rivane Neuenschwander.

Brazilian Avant-Garde Films from the 60s and 70s
7-9pm, Wilson Road Lecture Hall

Introduced by Michael Asbury and Moacir dos Anjos this screening event brings together rare films by acclaimed artists such as Artur Barrio, Paulo Bruscky, Antonio Dias, Nelson Leirner, Antonio Manuel, Anna Maria Maiolino and Leticia Parente. The screening is followed by an open discussion.

This event is organised in partnership with the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN), University of the Arts, London and takes place at Wilson Road Lecture Hall, Camberwell College of Arts

Danish documentary at Shunt
Max by Chance by Max Kestner, 2004, 30 Mins.

Belle de Jour
Diary of a Chambermaid

Ideas - 20th Nov

Record spoken words - dreams then play on a loop to myself whilst modelling in wax or clay the scenes created in my head. possibly in the dark? touch only without sight - feel the scene?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Cold War Modern

Study visit with Maiko and Amanda Fielding at V&A

Sporadic - first bit, artists responses to war and then suddenly design objects - link hard for me to form? Seems money and technology developed for the war and design a byproduct of this relationship not as the intro states - "Art and design were not peripheral symptoms of politics during the Cold War: they played a central role in representing and sometimes challenging the dominant political and social ideas of the age." not so sure about this! Felt that architecture has a closer relationship with society i.e. living patterns but harder for me to relate chair and product designs directly to politics?

Learnt more about general history (I have shockingly little knowledge!) but Terrible Beauty book is helping - could relate stuff in the exhibition to this. Learnt that part of the reason for progress was USA/USSR trying to show off and out do each other. Easier for me to see why design etc now is how it is, so many designs for subterranean living spaces - nuclear bombs etc.

So much in the exhibition - vastly ambitious and would have been much better to have the timeline as on the website in the exhibition as it was very hard for me to identify the parallel developments across design, politics, world events etc. Liked the space section best as it relates to my interest in the universe at the moment.
Jiri Kolar - Mysterious Sea Tajemy More, 1965 (Collage of ripped up maps)
Francisco Infante-Arana
Hardly any information available online about these artists.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Reflective Journal notes

Examine why you are doing things. Review objectives and join up all the things you are looking at. Carry on a personal tutorial with yourself as you are the worse critic of your work (so true). Write a letter to your strongest admirer describing your work. Ask why to anything you are thinking. Write your blog like a script - question and answer.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Glass globe

arrived today from Ebay - experiment with scene inside glass.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Bronze Casting in the 20th Century

The World turned inside out - Symposium at Courtauld Institute

11 Speakers, 1 Day, a marathon!

Antoinette Le Normand-Romain - Authority on Rodin
Marble/Bronze - only two noble ways of traditionally producing sculpture. Saint John the Baptist, Age of Bronze - some of the most successful in his lifetime.
The Thinker - 1907, many (7) bronzes exist across the world in major cities. Meditation 1897 & 1914 - imperfections considered perfect by Rodin. Casts after his death worth less - as he could not of approved the casts. Showed that his decisions to use sand or lost wax casting depended on personal friendships with the foundries (people), frustration with producing Gates of Hell.

Sarah Wilson - Sexuality and the Sacred in the work of Germaine Richier - the Postwar French sculptor. Full Text. Monumentality, Fluidity of movement (wax), delicate - like the bat piece.

Amelie Simier - Jules Dalou
Contemporary of Rodin. Drinking fountain next to London Stock Exchange. Showed how after his death his will was to provide his disabled daughter with an income in the orphanage she was in and group of people went to his studio and selected works to reproduce - probably ones he hated! and then totally different selection made by different group in following year. Shows how they marketed him as a brand, even nice letterhead, signatures added after casting? Selling works to major galleries.

Derek Pullen - Head of Sculpture Conversation at Tate(s)
Medardo Rosso 1858 - 1928, Italian

Ecco Puer (Behold the Boy) 1906
Fixing ephemeral ideas in bronze. He found wax an appropriate medium, instant impressions of transitory moments. Fixed viewpoint - first impression he what he is interested in pursuing. In Paris late 19th c. only a couple of foundries doing lost wax, sand much more widespread but lost wax more available in Milan. (Degas - Little Dancer modelled in wax).Fantastic letter from Rosso to the foundry explaining in detail how to cast things without altering his vision! Created foundry performances in his studio. Survival in a durable form - legacy.

Jed Morse (Nasher Centre, Dallas)
Talking about plaster casts - as clay is usually destroyed they are the closest to the original work. Jacques Lipchitz - clay sketches but sometimes altered the work even at later stages after casting. In contrast Henry Matisse - far less plasters remain usually destroyed when the edition was finished. He considered not worth anything and a secondary part.
Explained how a 3d laser scanner up to 300 microns in detail can be used for conservation, custom packing foam and looking at the process of the artist.
Pablo Picasso - Head of a Woman (Fernande) 1909, photos of his studio by Brassai.

Juliet Haysom - just had a look at her website - some very interesting ideas
Talking about her most recent project, commission for Urban Splash in Bristol by Ginko Projects. In London public art everywhere! Hepworth on outside of John Lewis, Oxford Street and Henry Moore on Bond Street - must go and look at. Interested in sculpture being embedded in the architecture. Heating exchange system through the handrail. Trace of handling - polished continually, seductive qualities.

James Boaden - just completed phd at Courtauld Institute
Jeff Koons - Aqualung
Damien Hirst - Hymn
Tracey Emin - Baby Clothes
Gavin Turk - Nomad
Painted bronze - to surprise the viewer, material weight and endurance, monumental material - transient social problems (Emin). Mid century artists like Moore and Giacometti were using bronze - historic creditability. Artists after using welded steel etc so when Jasper Johns did the Beer Cans piece in the 60s, very unfashionable material and polychromatic stuff not fashionable in 'high' art. Following on from Duchamp's marble sugar cubes - 'Why not sneeze Rose Selavy?'
David Smith - Blackburn... - notes unclear what this work is in reference to!
Ultimate modernist painting - bronze support, both painting and sculpture. Seduction and repulsion - invite to life but also repellent. Meaning constantly shifting. Avant garde gambit - acknowledge current leaders then as in chess play a step forward to the front.

I don't want realism, I want magic!

Romolo Del Deo - artist
Come over from NY - the tactile memory of bronze intertwined with history - polished itself with use - reflection of time and history. Very passionate speaker about bronze. Frozen liquid in the shape of artists thoughts - must be able to touch it. Made me think of all the people who sit on the lions in Trafalgar Square. Love this piece by Marino Marini

Mignon Nixon - Erotics of Casting, Louise Bourgeois.
didn't really make any good notes. Bruce Nauman - space cast under his chair.

William Cobbing
Younger guy who made the manhole cover and citied it in Pompei. All about the Gradiva project. Physicality of burying an object in the mind - relation to rediscovery of the memory/dream - bronze process. I didn't know that the bodies in Pompei were actually negative spaces of air that were then filled up and cast to extract the shapes of the people.

Rungwe Kindon - Pangolin Editions
6,000 years ago first casts using arsenical copper (extremely poisonous), 500 year later bronze casting started. too much craft - slick, not enough - lazy, underdeveloped. Amazing range of work made by the foundry, enormous ambition! Was taught by Rob at Camberwell.

Proper abstracts about the speakers.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Rafael Lorazo-Hemmer

Saw this with Susana in Trafalgar Square. Was freezing and not that impressive as it sounded! Would like to see his work at Haunch of Venison though.

Under Scan

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Introduction to Psychoanalysis and Art

by Melanie Gilligan

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Father of Psychoanalysis. He was a conservative art collector. Liked primitive art, wrote a text about Leonardo Da Vinci. Huge impact on popular culture, before him no/less ideas about what our subjectivity is. Process of thought from life affecting behaviour.
Context, end of 19th century Vienna, decline of social structures in the Austrian empire. Beginning point - same time as Modern Art wanted to break open, breaking with tradition.

So, they share a historical beginning and artists were drawing directly on Freud's psychoanalytical theories - surrealism. origins/dreams/fantasies/sublimation. Also terms from psychoanalysis entered art theory language - Hal Foster.

Basic concepts
The unconscious - mental functioning that you are unaware of. Sending thoughts and feelings into the conscious mind.
Repression / neurosis (symptoms) - powerful emotional energy. Painful memories, damaging to the mind are buried. In the context of the time - strict adherence to social norms, keeping in check. Also valid today.
Clues are interpreted by analyst and pressure can by relieved by talking, free association, hypnosis.

Photos by Jean-Martin Charcot of hysterics. Josef Breuer - colleague, the case of Anna O.

Avant garde art was also happening at the time - Picasso, Matisse toying with Primitivism - as a way beyond Western social conventions, more pure - immediate, instinctual.

Art of the Insane
Hans Prinzhorn collection. Art Brut - Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Jean Dubuffet.

Dream Interpretation
The royal road to the unconscious. Dreams illustrate the logic of the unconscious - visual experience, symbols with emotional charge/metaphors/resembling poetic speech.
Visual images juxtaposed in poetic ways. Breakdown of meaning, logic links are lost. Maps of intimate connections significant for the dreamer.
Breton-outside aesthetic/moral interpretation.
Kant - Modernism - disinterested play of thought.
Giorgio de Chirico - pre surrealist.
Free play, unconscious/uncontrolled, intuition not rational thought.
Max Ernst - collages juxtaposing different realities - recombining in a surrealist way.

Maybe two 'uses' of psychoanalysis for artists:

1. Idea of the unconscious as a method for generating new images, biographical details of the artists life - is this interesting? e.g. Automatic writing - unlock areas of the psyche - Giselle Procenos - Femme infant - through her innocence untainted creativity, less logic bound.

2. Using it as a tool to critique the power structures that create identities. e.g. Feminist viewpoint might be that male dominated, women sublimated, objects of desire. Gender relationships of power.

After the war brought about a variety of influences into the collective unconscious e.g. Cobra, Art Informel, Jackson Pollock etc.

More politically/socially concerned. Feminism, process and performance art 60s and 70s was critiquing patriarchal (
Adj.1.patriarchal - characteristic of a form of social organization in which the male is the family head and title is traced through the male line

Jacques Lacan - moving Freud's idea forward.

Basic concepts
Mirror stage - experienced in childhood as the child sees him/herself in the mirror. Establishing their own identity/subjectivity - individual. Stable coherent version of ourself. This is the moment you enter the subjective order and you keep this in your imagination throughout your life.
The Gaze - concept - visual aspect of yourself. The uncanny feeling that your gaze is looking back at you. Anxiety, vulnerability. e.g The Ambassadors by Holbein.
Mary Kelly - Post-partum document 1973-79, lectures on Lacan.
Barbara Kruger - 'Your gaze hits the side of my face' 81-83.

Video - The Aesthetics of Narcissism by Rosalind Krauss - 1st issue of October.

Melanie Klein - Psychoanalysis of children - Object relations theory. D W Winnicott.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Afternoon discussion

Discussion about an extract from ‘At the Threshold of the Visible’ - exhibition catalogue: '...:Minuscule and Small-Scale Art, 1964-1996' organised by Independent Curators Incorporated, New York. And my practical work, ideas to create a virtual inventory of dreamed objects and situate them afterwards. Concentrate on making well crafted objects and try experimenting with different scales. Put to one side the research about fourth dimensions and Quantum Mechanics as these ideas in the work are too big for the MA year at this stage. Complete my notes on The Poetics of Space.

Nicholas Bourriaud - Altermodern

'Alter' the other = change/diversity/multiplicity/alternative/modern.
'Modern Times' = a past period - second half of the 19th century, early 20th century style.
'Modernisation' = an economic levelling, more brutal term.

The hypothesis of the exhibition:
1. Finished with Post-modernism
2. Global new modernity - first time in history 'global' is possible. Post colonial studies important to this? The way the world has levelled - Western world not leading the progress any more. Not a one sided vision of time/space. Displacement ability to discover other cultures, most problems coming from problems with culture/origins.

If not an exhibition would be a debate a polyphony of voices - dialogue - way of exploring a notion.

Post-modernism began in the 1970s to define the period after Modernism - Charles Jencks (Architect). Following the petrol shortage in 1973 which came as a huge shock that natural resources shown to be fallible - crisis, different frame of mind and the idea that energy is not infinite - text about this by Peter Sloterdijk? Core ideas of Post-modernism being a spreading out - explosion. The form of the explosion - predominant feature of 20th century art e.g. Dada. Not natural things - a quick liberation of energy - frightening. So at this point the Western world considered how to stop relying on natural resources. Japan began technology revolution.

Ideas about where are we coming from? - loops back to the past. 'Radial' eliminating all the branches to get back to the root, purist expression of the idea radiality in art purifying Clement Greenberg. Pure expression.

Huge link - 1973 to Now, world economic crisis. Culture getting rid of history - considered irrelevant. In 1973 no screenplays no scenarios - what is left? Reacting to context - short pieces.
Used to being in the suburbs of history - after everything - feminism, sexual liberation etc.
'Alter' is a liberation - its not After anything whereas 'Modernity' has a past/future, before/after.
Uprooting from history - cut off from blind following of tradition, uprooting from identity. People from all over the world abandoning their nationality and coming together. Only carrying what they can carry - as in the first modern moment? exodus from Egypt.
Reducing complex thought into a single box. Travelling/migrating is a theme in recent art, one of the main issue of 'Altermodern' - how to define it - dream catching.

Possible start of Post-Colonial Post-Modernism - 1989, Berlin wall after cold war - 75-80s a world which is unmoving melancholy, immobilised. Key show 'Magicians of the Earth' at Pompidou centre in Paris.
'Radicant' e.g. ivy, growing roots all the times. You can cut the original root but it still grows, not energy from the soil - coming from the direction. Not depending on one origin. A more dynamic presentation of energy/identity. Breaking pattern of thought. Artists from the exhibition - starting point is global culture not countries, exploring very highly specific situations/thoughts. Globalisation is a fact, not a one dimensional phenomenon. Theoretical/practical starting point. Positive vision of working/wondering - in the streets. Iconography of the urban drift. Wandering in different realities.

Analogy - Modernism like a train - straightforward. Post-modernism train stops, its bad to go straight, many other ways discovered. Now we are going down the smaller tracks - forget oneself a bit.

Gustav Metzger - one of the artists in the exhibition. Auto destructive art. Liquid crystal environment. Sustainable debate, apply to the ecology of the mind. Today its not possible to think about art only as sensationalist or shocking - like a quick blast of post-modernist energy. Art has to be based on a sustainable relationship - have to live with it - have a debate with it - cultural development. Cannot live with art that is only in a movie - should be anchored.

Using history now as a toolbox, using exisiting material to produce works not just as a well picking quotes out. Exploring reality - adjusting it to another reality.

Books by Nicholas Bourriaud:

Relational Aesthetics

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Tiny clay river scene

First go's with porcelain - difficult beast! Had to build the palm tree in wax - hum. Bit sick of the clay being so difficult to work with and breaking all the time.

Sketches following Poetics of Space

Friday, 7 November 2008

Shirazeh Houshiary

Extracted from 'The Path and the Gate' bu John Hutchinson about Shirazeh's work:

'Poised between a need to discern the sacred and a wish to make art. Shirazeh Houshiary proceeds with the conviction that these challenges can be met and overcome. In her view, art is an activity that is located in an intermediary realm between body and spirit, a realm that is connected with the true self. This work as much as anything else, is about intercurrence.'

A passing or running between; occurrence.

Old brainstorm

Just discovered this on my desk at Wilson Rd - still worth blogging although my ideas now seem more askew!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

At the Threshold of the Visible

Notes on exhibition catalogue: '...:Minuscule and Small-Scale Art, 1964-1996' organised by Independent Curators Incorporated, New York.

'Minute artworks involve us, sometimes quite literally, in acts of discovery; some pieces are so insubstantial that they must be hunted for as if in a game of hide-and-seek. When first exhibited in the late 1960s and early 1970s, micro-paintings by Gene Davis and tiny sculptures by Joel Shapiro baffled viewers: small enough not to be noticed at first glance, their work sometimes went unseen by gallery visitors, who walked in and out of an exhibition without ever realising that a show was up.

With mischievous absurdity, art of this size wreaks havoc on our accustomed notions of scale. Its diminutive stature seems to mock the grand spaces in which it is displayed, appealing to our sense of humor and play. [...] Tiny artworks force us to draw closer, this forward movement parallels a mental process [...] the focused attention we give tiny art is almost voyeuristic in intensity. This charges our experience of the object, imbuing it with an almost hallucinatory acuity. [...] A single tiny work can appear at once assertive and humble, or intimate yet oddly remote. [...] Perhaps this is why Bachelard observed that "one must go beyond logic in order to experience what is large in what is small."

But miniatures also seem to exist in a state of haunted isolation, to occupy a permanently vacated scene. Physically, we stand outside their tiny domain, and when we imaginatively enter within it, we find ourselves its sole inhabitants.

Part of their appeal is to transport us to a world that is more precise, and more meticulously elucidated, than our own; charmingly perfect, they constitute a refuge from the domain of gross physical data and corporeal failings. The halo of the ideal seems to hover overhead. [...] The stillness of miniature landscapes evinces the profound calm of a tiny parallel world forever cut off from the activity and ungainliness of our own surroundings.'

Guy Limone - we cannot simultaneously comprehend the domain of the individual and that of the statistical mass.

Hiroshi Sugimoto's 1994 work Day Seascape, English Channel, Weston Cliff, 1994.

'Potentially engage us in a dialogue of revelation. As it alters our perception of the world around us, the minuscule object also arouses our sense of wonder - a creeping vein of curiosity is set loose in our imaginationm wandering and winding around far-flung mental points, and we are reminded as viewers that meaning can only be constructed through our active participation.
The barely visible calls our attention to a threshold, and such boundaries are resonant with meaning. Indirectly they invoke our own limited place in a potentially endless spectrum of scale, our inconsequential presence in the larger scheme of things. By leading us to reflect on its precariousness, the diminutive object conjures the threshold of mortality that defines our short-lived existence. And it is only in the light of such reflections that we may find a reliable measure of proportion, as well as a certainty that the most trivial fact can reinvent the margins of our world.'

Monday, 3 November 2008

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Juan Munoz, Louise Bourgeois, Kurt Schwitters

Juan Muñoz Minaret for Otto Kurz 1985, Collection of Francis de Beir
Muñoz considered Spiral Staircase (1984) to be his first mature work as a sculptor. Like the balconies, it was inspired by a familiar architectural structure and similarly represents a transitional ‘in-between’ space, embodying the momentum of both descending and ascending. ‘It made me very aware of the possibility of working on a reduced scale’, he later said. ‘I’m continually interested in how something small can animate a large amount of space.’

The Persian carpet of Minaret for Otto Kurz (1985) demarcates the space around the welded iron tower, but also acts ‘like a map of the city’, Muñoz said. ‘The first time I placed the piece in my studio, I always had this feeling that this tower was overlooking the city.’ Otto Kurz was a Viennese art historian who captured Muñoz’s imagination after he came across a reference to a major book that Kurz had written about ‘the prohibition of images in different cultures’, particularly Islamic cultures. After an intensive search, Muñoz discovered that the book never progressed beyond a stack of unconnected notes and references.

Louise Bourgeois – I Do, I Undo and I Redo
The installation consists of three steel towers, entitled I Do, I Undo and I Redo. The towers, each some 9 metres (30 ft) high, will dominate the east end of the Turbine Hall. In I Do and I Redo, spiral staircases coil around central columns supporting platforms which are surrounded by a number of large circular mirrors. In I Undo, a square framed steel skin with a spiral staircase conceals a cylindrical core with a further staircase. In each tower, Bourgeois has placed a bell jar containing sculpted figures of a mother and child.

Visitors can climb the staircases to the platforms, which Bourgeois envisages will become stages for intimate and revelatory encounters between strangers and friends alike. These encounters can be viewed from the bridge across the Turbine Hall and the viewing platforms looking over the space, increasing the idea of a spectacle. The huge mirrors reflect the encounters between the participant and the architecture, the viewing public and the towers.

A photo of the Merzbau, 1933
The collages Of Kurt Schwitters, Dietrich, Cambridge, 1993
The Merzbau by Kurt Schwitters.


Love this work I stumbled across 'Invented Memory' by Cyrus Karimipour
and work by Finnish photographer Ea Vasko

4d object - I think?

A 3D projection of a rotating tesseract. This tesseract is initially oriented so that all edges are parallel to one of the four coordinate space axes. It rotates about the zw plane.

Saturday, 1 November 2008


Visited Richard Slee exhibition - last day at Barrett Marsden Gallery. Didn't think I had been here but realised I had when I got there. Quite interesting, hes using much more mixed media than before. Beautiful changing colour glazes on the flame pieces and witty miniatures.

Then in the rain and cold over to Fournier Street to see the exhibition by 60/40 recommended by Amanda. Great to meet Clare Twomey, Tracey Rowledge and David Clarke and briefly discuss their work and what I was doing, very inspirational to see them filling a big gap in the Applied Arts (much needed).

Memory and Consciousness

'Remembrance of Things Unconscious' by David Shanks, article in New Scientist, 24th Aug 1991


I like this !

‘Look under the bed for something and expect it not to be there, but still carry a touch of hope that this something might in fact lurk in such an obvious place that is neither negative nor solid, but both predictable and mysterious. Now all sculpture, by its very nature, attempts to be a mystery, and yet cannot help but be, at some level, ordinary. How does the artist deal with that?’ [Sacha Craddock, 2005 for Daniel Silver at Pescali & Sprovieri Gallery]