A Machine for Living In pulicity
installing the show
the wires seemed to snake out of the walls
Since all this is about is getting work out there for people to see, so it can start dialogs with them and other work, the opportunities on this course have been coming thick and fast lately.
The group show we participated in at Hannah Barry Gallery was curated by Dave Charlesworth who came up with a brilliant concept based on Corbusier’s theory of a building being a machine for living in. Here, the proposition was that an artwork is a machine for an idea to live in. Consequently, this unwieldy group of MA students was tamed into a stunning show with an interesting narrative. Not only was the work very well curated, there was a collaborative video and publication too. Using the multiple elements of so many peoples work as the work itself was really successful on both counts, with a perspective on the group presented in a unified way.
The show was as much a lesson in curating as participating. Seeing the floor hang, the wall hang, and the subsequent 3 wall hangs carried out to the full gave a real insight into the evolution of a space and the work sitting within it. No tears or tantrums, a great group project.
Based on how much I enjoyed this process, I am keen to press on with future shows at other galleries, utilising their spaces in-between scheduled exhibitions, to keep an ongoing dialogue going between our work, and the spaces it is seen in.
a good place to park ideas..
David Nash gave a talk at Kew last week, in conversation with Sue Clifford, founder of Common Ground
They spoke about the evolution of their work, and where they have coincided. David Nash is as generous as ever with his energy and tales, and it was more of a retrospective evening than engagement in new critical contexts. This was in keeping with the constancy of the natural evolution of how Nash has always worked, how his works work, and how the world works, in particular, nature.
I had a good wander round Kew Gardens for a couple of hours before the talk, and took in some of the work in situ. Most of it I had seen at last years Yorkshire Sculpture Park show, but it was great to see them in different contexts. In particular the Oculus Block, a gargantuan form made of four fused eucalyptus trunks, and the Charred Sphere.
The Oculus Block was inside at YSP, where it towered over you and filled a huge space with it’s presence. Somehow here, outside, it seemed even bigger. The textures of the surface are even more pronounced. The views through the spaces are all different.
The Charred Spere is on a hill, sited close to the Kew Time Capsule. This struck me as a commentary on the future of the planet if we don’t alter our behaviour. Nash diplomatically sidestepped my direct question about this later…
Slade MA show was ambitious as ever. Layout of space and quality/finish of work exceptional as expected, setting a great benchmark.
I spent the longest looking at some of these:
Walking for Graham Hudson round Embankment and Covent Garden, negotiating the interruptions in my journey for him, I became distracted by the hundreds of cables leaking out and snaking their ways back again into our buildings.
Think Mr Miller might be my new favourite writer- the more he writes about material culture the fatter the base of my thinking and work becomes.
His blog is a work of connectedness and material-specificity in action.