Monthly Archives: October 2012

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

                                 – T.S Eliot 2001: 43

Came across this quote by T.S Eliot in an essay “Ergin Cavusoglu and the Art of Betweenness” written by Tim Cresswell in the book Spatialities: The Geogrpahies of Art and Architecture.


             Walead Beshty – Passages 2009

I keep returning to Beshty’s work as a form of grounding as I research more and contemplate my current and future thoughts I find his work a great reassurance.  I am not sure as to why I feel this way as even though I am an artist there are only a few works that give me this sense.  At present I see this as healthy so until otherwise I will use it as so.

The floor within this exhibition was also covered in strengthened glass similar to the glass used in Beshty’s FedEx boxes.  However here the viewer leaves their mark whilst viewing the work.  The cracks and traces left on the glass change and add to the exhibition over the course of the show.

Here is part of the text from the Frieze article written by Sarah-Neel Smith about Beshty’s solo show at  LA >< ART, March/May 2009.

In the ‘Passages’ (2009) series, nebulous large-scale colour prints confess their trajectory through an airport X-ray machine in the form of blurred lines and hazy irregularities. Echoing the processes of fingerprinting and body scans used in the increasingly politicized zone of the airport, the images are an appreciable evocation of the legislative and ideological transformations of a post- 9/11 world, as felt by every traveller. (The project is an intentional exercise stemming from an earlier accident, when film Beshty had taken of the deserted Iraqi Diplomatic Mission in Berlin was run through X-ray machines during his journey, and later shown at the 2008 Whitney Biennial.) They are also thoroughly charming abstract fields of fading colour: the new systems of corporeal degradation exercized in airports since September 2001, which establish a state of exception as a civic norm, are rendered oddly palatable.


Over the past thirty years, my thoughts have followed a single line, in many parallel ways. lt can be summarized in a single question: what is the place of one person – any individual – in the complex, ever-changing landscape of the world? lt is a question without a fixed or universal answer. Still it must be asked. Answers, however provisional, must be attempted. This is particularty urgent for the apportioning and use of space, which every person needs, and which the work of architecture explicitly provides. The installations I have designed and made in collaboration with others explore the phenomena of change in material and spatial terms.  They work within already strong sites in order to expose these sites’ latent dynamism and the forces hidden within their stability leading to inevitable transformation.
The aim is not to disturb the stability, but to provide strategies for adaptation when transformation occurs. Even more, they celebrate change and the energies driving it, as the essence of existence.
Lebbeus Woods –

Since reading the book Irresistible Decay earlier this month and stumbling across a quote by Lebbeus Woods I have started to see his influence on multiple areas of my research.  So much so I visited his website to read further.  It is moments like that then sometimes shine a light on why certain people and thinkers keep intersecting with your research.  His quote (above) that is on his website about his work really found a resonance with my outlook and allowed me to relax as to why certain elements of his practice cross paths with mine.  The last two sentences in particular find me reflecting on past and present projects…


In this interesting video by The Creators Project, Universal Everything’s Mike Tucker talks about their approach to the video work and artwork they create.  How he has seen the importance and power of anthropomorphic objects and how giving a abstract shape or form human qualities has enhanced the message the moving image can convey.  Incredible use of motion capture and 360 video in some of their latest work really is put to good use and not just as a novelty.


Alison Wilding Airboxed, 2010 Stainless steel and cast resin balloons.

‘A House Of Leaves’ Exhibition in three parts and epilogue came to my attention due to the title being taken from Mark Z. Danielewski’s infamous novel.  The exhibition is being curated by Vincent Honoré, Director and Curator of David Roberts Arts Foundation (DRAF).  Here is the outline from the DRAF website:

“A House of Leaves is an exhibition imagined as an experience of time: the exhibition will change constantly, the experience will never be the same, with works being replaced by others to gradually alter the general context and naturally evolve from one movement to the next. The title references US novelist Mark Z. Danielewski’s eponymous novel in which different storylines, told in different styles, intertwine. The story is centred around a house which keeps changing and in which the interior dimensions become larger than its exterior over time. Much like in Danielewski’s novel, A House of Leaves borrows different languages, tells multiple narratives in different ways, and asks its viewer to become co-author in order to present a collective effort to define an art form – in this instance the contemporary art museum, from its collection, displays, special commissions and loans, to its educational and interpretation system. This troubled museum we are creating abandons any authoritarian voice. It reflects a trust and respect for the works the museum is responsible for, to the guests joining the project, and to the visitors engaging with it.”

The format and challenging format of this exhibition provides for a wide range of engagements by viewers.  I hope to see at least one of these movements when I am in London in the New Year.

The first movement is currently running

A House of Leaves – First Movement 12 Oct-15 Nov 2012

Second Movement 16 Nov 2012 — 12 Jan 2013

Third Movement 18 Jan — 16 Feb 2013

Epilogue – 23 Feb 2013

David Roberts Arts Foundation
Symes Mews
London NW1 7JE



I came across Carey Young’s work through a recent exhibition Mind the System, Find the Gap at Z33 Gallery.  Her piece Obsidian Contract was what caught my eye and then this piece Missing Mass.  These intriguing pieces visually play with the surrounding space whilst also question the space as material and the relationship between its potential and limitations.  Here is a link to her website.


I have been interested in Robbie Rowlands work for about a year, intriguing adaptions of objects and spaces.  His choice of scale and volume that he decides to peel away and his reduction of forms shows amazing restraint.  He has a some new work opening today as part of Contemporary Site Investigations – Flinders Street Station, Melbourne.  Wish I was in the right part of the world to see his work for once.




Press Release:

Opening: 1 PM, Sunday, December 4, 2011
Place: Neue Grünstraßebetween Kommandantenstraße & Seydelstraße
Public transportation: U2 Spittelmarkt
The artist Erik Smith began searching for building foundations to excavate in an overgrown, vacant lot in Berlin. After two days of digging, he unearthed the top of a curved wall, whereupon his shovel struck a hollow sound. Like an archeologist on the precipice of a chance discovery, Smith methodically uncovered a wholly intact, cast-iron, spiral staircase, a nineteenth-century remnant preserved below the “death strip” of the Berlin Wall.

The excavation is located at Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum, on one of the few remaining “green zones” leftover from the Cold War division. The staircase and evidence of its discovery, an impressive pile of dirt and rubble, resonate in stark contrast to the massive construction sites and new buildings that surround it. At the center of this real estate frenzy, Smith produces an architecture, a staircase downward emerging.

Little is yet known about its history. The staircase is a recognizable entity, but like the missing floors above, anonymous and hermetic. As an artwork, Smith’s open-ended exploration calls to mind Nietzsche’s writings on the principle of a limited horizon – a space established in which one is not responsible to answer all questions or consider all perspectives. By holding them at bay, one can learn something else. In this way, it can be understood that the process of a discovery made in situ, with physical persistence, has its own status, and that knowing the “facts” might not help such a discovery, but only interrupt it.

Erik Smith (US) explores in recent works concepts of city, place and cultural memory, digging into and exposing their latent aspects, if necessary with a shovel. Selected exhibitions include The Ghost of James Lee Byars Calling, de Appel Center for Contemporary Art, Amsterdam (NL), Who, Among You, Deserves Eternal Life? – In Practice, Sculpture Center (NY), and Re-distribution of the Sensible, Magnus Müller Galerie Berlin. Smith has lived and worked in Berlin since 2003. (

Jeremiah Day writes about Erik’s Dig and what he sees he is achieving with this project.  The questioning of his explorations intrigued me, Day went onto ask:

I asked Smith if he would go to an archive and make that kind of research – old maps, old records – and he said he would, at some point – a point that keeps being pushed back into the future. Nietzsche wrote of the principle of a limited horizon – a space established in which one is not responsible to answer all questions, to all perspectives, and by holding some questions away, one can learn something else.  In this way, perhaps we can understand that the process of discovery made in situ, with physical persistence has it’s own status, and that knowing the “facts” might not help such a kind of discovery, but only interrupt it.

I like this thought of not knowing everything and sometimes this can lead to more.  There is no said way to do things we either do them the way they have been done or we try something new.  If we fear or always do things like they have been done in the past then we will never have happy accidents or new discoveries as everything will be to a certain extent predetermined.