To accompany his exhibition, The Foundation, at Chisenhale Gallery, Patrick Staff has produced a new limited edition artwork, It's Soaking (2015).
The Foundation is a film installation by Staff premiering at Chisenhale Gallery and co-commissioned with Spike Island, Bristol; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. In this new work Staff explores queer intergenerational relationships negotiated through historical materials. The film combines footage shot at the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles – home to the archive of the erotic artist and gay icon and a community of people that care for it – with choreographic sequences shot within a specially constructed set.
It's Soaking is a C-type photograph – a production still taken by Staff – mounted on rubber-backed felt underlay. For the artist, these specific materials evoke the Tom of Finland Foundation as a physical, architectural environment with both domestic and archival functions, and its complex, shifting state as a political, communal and libidinal space. Staff has employed similar materials in the bespoke presentation of his work at Chisenhale Gallery, which references the theatrical set that he constructed for the film. The production still was taken during the final scene in which various props and materials become subsumed in a creeping cloud of foam. The title, It’s Soaking, plays on an ambiguity between noun and adjective to suggest a potential mutable state of the object and its affect.
Each edition is hand assembled and unique due to the nature of the combination underlay.
Patrick Staff (born 1987, UK) lives and works in London and Los Angeles. Selected exhibitions, screenings and performances include; Scaffold see Scaffold, The Showroom, London; Art Turning Left, Tate Liverpool; L’Heure Des Sorcieres, Le Quartier, France (all 2014); Mental effort Before Action: 1-5A-5B, South London Gallery; A Factory As It Might Be (Bournville), International Project Space, Birmingham; Society as a Workshop, Banff Centre, Canada (all 2013); Chewing Gum for the Social Body, The Tanks, Tate Modern, London (2012). Staff took part in the LUX Associate Artists Programme in 2010/11 and was the inaugural White Building/Lux Collection Residency artist (2014).