24 May 2018

INCONTRO Project Post 1: Ideas and Proposition

INCONTRO project features a specific brief to create ten artworks that will fit into ten capsules, each capsule measuring 20 x 15cm. The capsules can then travel together or singularly to different locations for presentation. The project follows an interrecce meeting in Trieste earlier in 2018 where the idea was developed and the discussion led to the brief for each artist to make ten objects to fit ten capsules. The inter-recce meeting was with Patrizia Bigarella, Franco Vecchiet, John Brown and myself.

In March this year I visited Palermo, Sicily just a week after the inter-recce meeting at Trieste. Here I was struck by the dynamic design of the marble floors in both the Cathedral of Monreale, just outside Palermo, and the Capella Palatina. The contrasting light and dark geometry takes the eye across the floor and in varying directions creating a strong interconnecting trace. As the marble design is floor based the eye unavoidably connects with the intricacies of the lines moving across and around the floor, a shifting geometry as we move through the space.

In reflecting on this experience I thought about a floor based, tile-like configuration. In making some quick ink drawings in black and white on small rectangles of paper the potential for moving and arranging at will became apparent. This represented a non fixed condition for the artwork. An intriguing proposition, a diagrammatic structure with multiple reconfiguration.

Therefore, as a start point I have decided to develop a floor based series of ten works each with 16 tiles each measuring 13cm square (to fit the capsule) that will have independence from each other in thematic colour but that would interconnect in series. The ten objects, to be called elements, will be painted and therefore unavoidably become paintings. Issues became apparent. The paintings would not be wall based. They would be floor based in presentation questioning the paradigm of the terminology of painting and locating this work in other contexts. However, the hand brush pigment application will draw on my existing practice as a painter and therefore, also unavoidably raising the issues of painting language to be employed for each tile.

Additionally, chance or involuntary action might be present, as to what order each tile would be configured within the grid structure. This presents a possible detachment from authorship, especially if the arrangement is by a third party. In any case, each element comprising sixteen tiles has multiple possibilities for arrangement, a structure of permutation (1).

The basic tile form for each of the elements (each capsule object) was cut out from 3mm medium density fibre board making 160 tiles in total. The tiles to form each element will be arranged  in a square, @60cm apart from the centre, each making a diagrammatic grid of @240 metre square.

(1). The term is Benjamin H. D. Buchloh's in his essay 'The Diagram and the Colour Chip' Gerhard Richter's 4900 Colours'. (p.67, Gerhard Richter's 4900 Colours, Serpentine Gallery 2008).

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