See For Yourself

See for yourself
or COUNTERPOINTED AZIMUTHS

azimuth : way, direction, a direction or point of the compass or horizon, and the arc extending from it to the zenith.
counterpoint : `song or music pointed-against', the part added as accompaniment to a plain song being indicated by notes, `pricks', or `points', set against (over or under) the notes or points of the original melody.

FORMAT

Eleven pairs of sculpture and painting couplets, live inside a circus lorry and hang separate on opposite walls.
The lorry is entirely covered with subtly reflective mirror-like surface allowing the vehicle to blend with its surroundings. In red cursive letters both sides of the truck carry the title: See for yourself.
The exhibition thus housed travels to the various towns invited by art centers and galleries. It easily parks on the street or in a garden and is self contained.
Probable locations could be; Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Lille, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Sevilla, Venice...

THE ARCH OF DEFEAT

In the first world, the act of murdering many, incidentally raping and robing at least a few, is celebrated in most major cities with a Triumphal Arch. The entrance to the exhibition space proper will aim to provide an alternative point of view. The poignant irony in the choice of words, will hopefully convey a a celebration less than triumphant but gratefully infused with a more humane meaning. Every inch of the space around the entrance door will covered with little boards and corresponding tins each clamoring for the sake of their own charitable cause. Amnesty International, Save the Whales, the Aids fight, Save the Donkeys and Fight Slavery, etc... the list is nearly endless.
The Arch of Defeat, besides providing the obvious benefits is also meant as a soul `s' eye rinse. A tuning instrument for the sensitivities of the viewer, to better See for yourself'.

Traction unit, exhibition space & Arch of Defeat

SUBJECT

The exhibition consists of a group of ten couplets, each formed by a two-dimensionaland a three-dimensional work. The pairs are separated and hung on opposite walls,each facing its other half. The viewer is caught in the middle of each twosome, unable to view the whole in the same moment, except vaguely, with peripheral vision.

The three-dimensional subjects are small scale sculptures in treated raw plaster, placed inside a wood-and-wire bird cages or traps, and set against a square coloured woodboard. Each sculpture is an interpretation of a simple and archetypal icon (i.e.: child, ladder, house, self, nothing), relating individually to the delineated space it inhabits and to its pictorial counterpart.

The two-dimensional works are paintings on various materials sharing the same dimensions of the coloured squares facing them. They are the interpreted projections of the caged objects. They can be, not only the casting forth of their inherent desires or fears, but also the shadows of their actions, or even, the nurturing ground for their being.

The background squares for the sculptures are therefore the complementary colours of their painted projections. The dynamics between the two objects and the viewer create a rich spatial and psychological configuration.

Diagram 1:


There are seven spacial relationships:
  1. the relationship of the object-sculpture to the cage it inhabits.
  2. the relationship of the object-sculpture in the confinement of its backdrop colour.
  3. the illusory spatial relationships within the two dimensional subjects.
  4. the relationship of the two counterparts to each other.
  5. the viewer's perception of the three-dimensional piece.
  6. the viewer's perception of the two-dimensional piece.
  7. the viewer's synthesis of the relationship between the two halves of the pair.

This Platonic narrative, with its insistence on the duality of reality and its implicitly evoked binary system, could be mistaken for a hackneyed theme. But, the counterpoised point of equilibrium where the observer is placed in the axis and his importance, creates a fresh and elusive element for triangulation that remains always changeable and contemplative. Each viewer stands central, each different and the same, each a mystery and a possibility. As a result, these works invoke the sacred. Perhaps, they stand as nontheist altars for postmodern folk, where on the tightrope of attention is craddled the creative act.

THEMES

Based on the premise of Ibsen's dictum that "ideas change but archetypes remain". The visual subjects of the painting and sculpture pairs are an exploration of recurrent archetypes. The objects can be simple : a house or a child. Sometimes they are more complex: a grotesque sculpture of religious symbols or the absence inside an empty cage. The paintings also range from the blatant ( newborn war victim, ofensive pollution), to the subtle (minimalist reflective surface, nightime formal landscape). Below is a list of titles for the couplets, overleaf, the working drawings for the different painting -sculpture pairs.

  1. Tail & Trail
  2. Child & Others
  3. Ladder & Leaden
  4. House & Heath
  5. Riches & Ruins
  6. Gods & Innocents
  7. Fox & Kingdom
  8. Mystery & Mystery 2
  9. Sleeper and sleepless
  10. I & I
  11. Mourned & Mourner