So as the carnival of Degree Show leaves town, we’ve reached that point of impact. A car being driven full pelt with three years of creative acceleration and momentum straight into a brick wall, the camera pulls back and does that Zack Snyder thing where time expands, the camera running at 12,500 frames per second highlights every shard of glass and bone, the twisting of metal and the watermelon impact of flesh against brick, each drop of blood a perfect sphere suspended in enforced zero gravity while some juxtaposed operatic libretto highlights the beauty, held even in destruction.
This morning the whitespace in the Time Based Art studio reverted to its latent form, the walls stripped bare, the energy dispersed, turning widdershins three times to dispel the magic trapped there by the summoning which had taken place. I had an interesting conversation with the fantastically talented artist/writer/thinker Kevin Smith yesterday where we mused on the fact that regardless of context, a painting will always be a painting, while the ephemeral genie of conceptual and installation work at some point needs forced back into the bottle, often quite awkwardly.
Earlier, while closing out the Chronacair file, a certain order of things presented itself to me. An installation, by my understanding, is an intervention in space and time, by its very nature a finite crossing point, a bridge between concept and ‘reality’ and as such, the ephemerality of it is as important as its existence. After all, an intervention which endures becomes a fixed point, it becomes part of the everyday which, as artists, we battle against. By breaking the spell we have cast and by means of this banishing, returning things back to their lifeless, constituent components we move on, ashes to ashes.
I’m really just musing in an effort to keep my mind from straying too far into dangerous waters here but, I expect if you’re reading this you’ll probably have a decent enough picture of how it tends to be round these parts.
I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who came down to visit my space at the Degree Show and took the time to engage with the work. It’s been such a hugely rewarding week. At artschool (which I categorically love by the way), almost every conversation about work is centred around your influences, concepts, processes, grade, etc. and it really is a strangely constructed, artificial environment, sure it is flexible and (in academic terms) necessary but at the end of the day, when opening our spaces to the general population, we are met with a much truer reflection of our work. Art is something which you look at and it either resonates with some buried part of your psyche or, you simply don’t like it. No amount of explanation, papertrails and lists of other artists you admire will ever change that. People like art and engage with it, or they don’t. Oscar Wilde writes in the preface of A Picture of Dorian Grey. “All art is quite useless” and in this, lies true beauty. If art were ‘useful’ and served a function other than some form of mental drift, escapism, aesthetic rapture, whatever you want to call it, it ceases to exist in that wonderously liminal space where the ’soul’ resides, the very thing that makes us human.
On a slightly more capitalist note, I’ve got a few bits and pieces left over from the show, I’ll list them below, if you’re interested or have any queries, please drop me a line at dave (at) erstlaub.co.uk and we can work something out. Prices listed exclude postage which will depend of what you want and where you live but wont be much more than £1 or so I reckon. Any transactions will be done personally via Paypal, I’ll try to throw in some goodies (or downloads) with every purchase. I’m living up to the stereotype of being a poor artist so go on, treat yourself, it’ll be greatly appreciated.
A Field Guide to the Island of Chronacair: A5, 23 page, full colour artist book compiling many of the elements which make up ‘A Return’ – £7
Traditional Songs From the Island of Chronacair: A5, 12 page, artist book of sheet music composed for ‘A return’ – £4
Spirit Trap: Exclusive to Degree Show Audio CD, Running Time 36′08″, each contains an individual 100 x 75mm photographic print – £5
Marconi’s Shipwreck: Exclusive early release DVD, running time 71′58″ (note – also avaliable on DVD/Digital from Broken20 later in 2012) – £5
A small selection of prints are also avaialble although I’m a bit wary about postage costs so will need to look into it, let me know if you’re interested though.
Concrete Poems: Dundee Sequence: A set of three, A4 concrete poems in clip frames (view) - £45
Entropic Recall: A triptych of 100 x 150mm prints mounted on black in A3 clip frame, comes with over three hours of audio as download (view) – £30
Hymnal: A single A4, visual/prose poem in clip frame (view) – £25
Thanks for everything.