Small Objects That Save Lives by Christine Borland consists of eleven trestle tables arranged in the gallery upon which the artist displays various objects. The objects are the response to a written request to a selection of people from the Chisenhale Gallery mailing list, and from friends and associates of the artist. This group of individuals contributed a small object of personal significance, which could have been a literal, metaphorical or quite personal response to the title. The objects are displayed with the names of the people who chose to participate. The title was interpreted in many different ways; however, the personal significance of the objects is protected as much as revealed.
Craig Richardson’s work in the exhibition is in two parts: The Unfolding and Even Further. The Unfolding is a text based piece of work, which is displayed on the wall of the gallery. Nine seemingly oxymoronic phrases were painted in black onto a yellow wall, all purporting to political or financial jargon for momentous social events.
Richardson’s second piece in the show, Even Further, was a series of objects made from pieces of wood collected from around the area of the Chisenhale while Richardson had been working in a studio here. The various pieces were made into several stocks. Through sawing, sandpapering and bracketing with small metal angles, these various pieces of wood (floorboards, kitchen surfaces, cupboard doors) lost their humdrum identities and assumed a more significant role. Defined by Richardson as “delinquent weapons,” these ominous objects were then displayed on a series of metal shelves.
Christine Borland is an artist who lives and works in Scotland. Her work explores the arena of medical practice as part of a broader interest in the systems and processes that shape our society.
Craig Richardson is a Principal Lecturer at the School of Arts and Humanities at Oxford Brookes University. His field of specialism is Scottish art, of which he has both written extensively and curated exhibitions.
Click here for the accompaning publication to this exhibtion in the shop.
Published by Chisenhale, London, 1993
Texts by Ian Hunt
Paperback, black and white illustrations
Recognition will always be sought from sculpture; these beings do not hail from a self-sufficient world of ideal forms but want to be like us, to be liked, to stand in for us. Christine Borland’s works do stand in for us, sometimes literally. By shooting things (a cooperative business: the help of others is always required) and by arraying the evidence she conveys a repeated reassurance that a stand-in took the blow on our behalf. Some of the works take on the presence of a figure itself.
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