Graham Gussin, Tim Jones and Jo Stockham are three young sculptors who employ the means of narrative to turn their interest and concern in and about the world into objects. Interestingly, each also uses two-dimensional images as a way of informing the audience and extending the narrative base of their sculpture.
Tim Jones' travels have already taken him around the world. His fourteen foot high winged Dante's Car has the characteristic of an ancient juggernaut or siege tower, its wheels and steps rising to a pulpit from which a clear view of reality may be obtained. Engravings and drawings depicting the Car in various parts of the world accompany the work.
Jo Stockham approaches uneasy states from her personal past and the more general present making sculptures rooted in domesticity but collapsing under the anxieties of childhood and the ever-present fear that stems from living within an aggresive environment. Her prints offer clues to her sculpture; the house full of gun barrels, her own face as a small child gazing out into an uncertain future.
In Listening Field, Graham Gussin has laid his own railway track across the gallery floor. He too, turns his back to his childhood as he establishes an empty tableau through which something large is about to move or has just left. In that atmosphere of emptiness he coolly explores his feelings of waiting and loss. His series of collages Notes on the Margins refer to the same sensations, annotating a book which has never existed.
Text taken from the press release for Sculpture, July 1987.
Graham Gussin’s first solo exhibition in Britain continues his exploration into the way we perceive natural phenomena. Whilst Gussin’s text and photographic installations invoke the picturesque and the sublime, ultimately the work belies these familiar tropes of seeing, asserting the artificiality of human vision.
In the centre of the gallery two photographs mounted on billboard structures refer to those objects that occupy the foreground of landscapes we travel through, but also to the fantasy intrinsic to advertising. In these photographs, what first appears to be untamed wilderness, can, on closer inspection, be identified as pockets of overgrown urban wasteland.
Everything Available, a wallpapered text, lists all the equipment advertised in a single issue of Astronomy Magazine. Items as diverse as the “Series 4000 Moon Filter” and the “Observer’s Chair (Standard Model)” divulge both the human desire to uncover the secrets of the universe and the frailty and smallness of our position within it.
Contents features extracts from the contents page of Lydall Watson’s 1970s bestsellers, Supernature and Supernature II. Italicised and written in reverse, words and phrases coined by the author such as ‘thoughtography’ and ‘perfect speed’ look as though they could be read from the other side of the wall. Thus Gussin suggests a fusion between the gallery interior and what exists beyond, much similar to Watson’s aspiration of transcendent harmony between the body and the environment. Unlike Watson, however, Gussin communicates a thoroughgoing scepticism.
Graham Gussin was born in London in 1960, where he currently lives and works. He studied at Middlesex Polytechnic between 1981 and 1985 and completed an MA at Chelsea School of Art in 1990. He has shown extensively in Britain and abroad, and has curated exhibitions for the Showroom and Interim Art in London.
Click here for the accompaning publication to this exhibtion in the shop.
Published by Chisenhale, London, 1993
Texts by Adrian Dannatt
Paperback, black and white and colour illustrations
Jean-Francois Lyotard has for long developed his view that ‘it is in the aesthetic of the sublime that modern art (including literature) finds its impetus and the logic of avant-gardes finds its axioms’. Lyotard’s diagnosis is not of course concerned with the rendering, through the artists’ means and materials, of the awesome chaotic infinitude of nature but rather with an essentially transgressive notion of strategy; to cross the abyss formed between conception and presentation, out of the desire to represent an unrepresentable experience, a state of mid, am idea, a belief, that certain something which can never be adequately pictured. The source or essence of art is here the source and essence of experience, and specifically an experience of becoming. In this, a sense of inevitable failure reveals a project founded on the articulation of the discovery that the ideas of reality contains its own lack (and furthermore that nature’s infinitude is not necessarily real
For more information about the exhibition please click here.
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