New work! Several story-lines led me to making this piece and I’ve been thinking about titles: for now it is simply Hand me down, as I thought I’d wait to see what people make of the work, what kind of stories they come up with. Or you – let me know your thoughts!
I mentioned my last art-outing: my friend M. took me to Serpentine Gallery for the Rosemarie Trockel-exhibition. So much of interest for me there, after all RT made machine-knitted conceptual work early on, i.e. in the 70s, and not only challenged the art/craft divide but modernist narratives which favour the male artist. It was good to see the multitude of media she explores, but what I loved most was the generosity of her vision, making connections and highlighting influences and affinities with other artists, incl. those who are so often excluded from purist fine art trajectories: so-called outsider artists, botanical illustrators, model-makers, etc. I finally saw some of Judith Scott‘s striking work (would like to take a leaf out of her book), and plotted to steal one of the tiny leather-bound books Manuel Montalvo densely and obsessively filled with minute paintings of mammals, fish, faces from around the world, often no bigger than a fingernail. M. imagined a person who travelled extensively, and I one who hardly left his room and developed his condensed portrayal of the world’s sentient beings by pouring over encyclopaedias. Goes to show that our fantasies of artists’ lives have much to do with our own.
What also thrilled me was the actual installation of the exhibition, esp. in the space where a large selection of RT‘s book-ideas were shown. All too often similar work is laid out in vitrines too high for a wheelchair-user to easily look into. The arrangement of the artwork on a ledge, at the height chosen, where everything could be looked at frontally, was perfect for me, and I enjoyed that some images were mounted on the wall below, even just above floor-level, to lean towards, which must make anyone, able-bodied or not, aware of their physicality and how they have to adjust their position in order to get the best view of the work. I bought the catalogue and from the photos could see that the exhibition at the New Museum in New York was different (vitrines!), which makes me wonder whose idea the ingenious presentation at Serpentine was – the artist’s or the curator’s (did e-mail the gallery to ask).
Glad I had two art-outings to shore me up as presently preparing for hospital test-outings, some of which I’m quite anxious about. Otherwise I’m finishing pieces that I had neglected and trying to organise my art-practice so I can make the best use of my never-lasting periods of energy. Also want to write more about my processes here and explore how I can extend my practice while lying down. Busy, busy, for minutes at a time.
Hand me down (2012/13)
Materials: crocheted from wool/polyester yarn
Dimensions: 45 cm x 26 cm