WALKING IN OUR MIND, SOUTHBANK CENTRE

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WALKING IN OUR MIND, SOUTHBANK CENTRE

4 - 27 August 2009
Level 2 Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Sunday 19th July, 2009


IF WALKING IN MY MIND asks the viewer “to consider the creative process - as a stretch of mental and physical activity from first idea to final touch,” here, we propose the same, but in the reverse direction: to ask the viewer to look behind that final touch, to imagine the physical activity, and then ideas, and then finally to reach back up to the artist.

WALKING IN OUR MIND is a single sculpture designed in equal parts by six young people.

Like WALKING IN MY MIND – we consider with the space between the artist and the viewer: the gap between the artists intention and the viewers perception and ask “how we assemble, accumulate and process information and images.”

Working with 6 young people from SE1 United, Sculptor Nick Hornby asks what happens when you force ideas together? When two atoms collide? What is produced when you force together a group of people’s ideas, and all their personal histories? Lyrical abstractions or Giacometti-esque skeletons? Can we distil all these pluralities into a single autonomous sculpture?

“To make a respose to such a rich show as Walkign in My Mind is already problematic – but to do it with six different, intelligent and opinionated young people is extremely hard. The solution was not to negotiate, but to simply superimpose their ideas on top of one another, to take away the differences and leaving only common ground. I hope visitors to the Royal Festival Hall foyer will at first see a single abstract sculpture, and then as they walk around it, unpack each individual voice, the origin of the work, its muses, its inspiration."

What happens when you sit around a table and put ideas in the middle? When you pool ideas on top of one another taking away the differences and leaving only their common ground? This question becomes a process:

Six Young people, each with six separate voices, distinctive ideas, opinions, histories, cultures create a single sculpture. Each distil their voice into a single “glyph,” a cut-out (as if in homage to the Hayward’s first exhibition in 1968 of work by Matisse), and each cut-out is extruded in towards the centre spread equally around 360º. The final sculpture is object that is common-to-all, the physical landscape of shared interests, the manifestation of cultural sameness.

What is the origin of an artwork? And how far back does a viewer go in search of it? Does (s)he look for the sources? Or for the Artist? For Heidegger you look outside the frame. For sculpture you can walk around it and sometimes unpack see echo’s of other artists, of culture.

For Hagel, the solution is the Synthetic, which does not lie inbetween thesis and antithesis, but is wholely new. It is cooked. Is this sculpture cooked? Does it set out its own language made up of glyphs? Or is always readable as the sum of its parts?

In designing public sculpture for the Hayward, there are of course many restraints and many restrictions. What shape is drawn by these guidelines?

For Richard Serra, Sculptures are subjected to processes / forces – to actions. For Michaelangelo that action of carving reveals a figure. The cut-outs / glyphs are “slices” an imagery force exerted that creates an abstraction, a shape, a sign.

 

 

Reviews:

- SLAMXHYPE
- Interview FAD (Art Fast News)

 

 

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