April 16th 2010
So, I’ve got a piece of work going into the Worcester Open 2010 which opens in 1.5 weeks… but I don’t know what it’s going to exactly be yet. Crisis management time, I think.
I was meant to be installing this:
But…these are the windows in the venue:
They are actually HUGE! Really amazing windows, but actually huge!
It would look incredible…of course…if I were able to do the whole lot, but that is unlikely. I worked out that it would cost me at least a further £500.00 in wax to make the estimated required 32,000 miniature bricks. And all that would take a minimum of 540 hours to make… and it needs to be done by Wednesday (5 days time).
So for today, I thought I’d just copy in my email containing my thoughts on it all, to the show organiser. I’ve got lots of drawings with measurements from today…but no scanner to hand at the moment, so I’ll try to upload them sometime soon.
Here are my thoughts:
The door window as you enter the gallery probably isn't great. Like you said, the work would likely get damaged and fall away from the glass panels as the doors were opened and shut. Possibly more importantly (for me) though is that installing the work in the entrance doorways would mean that in the first hand the piece would be viewed from the outside rather than the from the inside. The work looks very different from the outside and I don't think it would be as effective. I suppose in an ideal world you'd also be looking for some coherence with the rest of the show and it may feel disjointed there. BUT... like you said, all possibilities are worth considering as we try to work out a solution. (by the way, I’ve attached an image of how the work looks viewing from the outside in, so that you can see what I’m talking about.
The huge windows (in the stairway, cafe, activities room) are really amazing - I love them. BUT... apart from the ladder issue, I don’t think there is any way that i could produce enough bricks to fill them - i worked out it would take about 32,000 miniature bricks to do the windows in the activities room and it would cost probably an extra £500.00 in wax, which in less than a week i doubt is possible. I really wish it was possible, because it would be quite powerful and totally uncompromising i think. But... we don't get far on wishes, eh?
I had a look at the display cabinets etc too - there is a medium sized one that is lit from the inside ...so i took the measurements of that and have had a think about the possibility of utilising that as an installation space. BUT, i think with work that is quite minimalistic and conceptual, each and every decision in the creation process is quite crucial. I think to take the bricks and apply them to an entirely new context (cabinets not windows) wouldn't make sense...without a lot of critical thinking (and time is short).
So a few possible solutions I've come up with...
Since the large windows are made of tons of panels and are segmented...it might work to 'brick out' sections of the window. As if the bricking up had just begun and was slowly 'sprawling' across the whole surface. I could draw up some diagrams of how that may look and scan them and email them through to see what you think? I reckon it would make most sense to use the windows in the activities room because they can be seen from the main gallery space and it might help to connect it into the rest of the show. The only worry is that it may be hard to make it look DELIBERATE...which would be crucial to it being successful.
The other idea that could be really very interesting... is if I source my own old window. I could install the bricks into a 'found' window and bring it into the gallery as a sort of 'sculpture' piece rather than installing them into the gallery windows. This would solve the problem of ladders and of the size of the windows. I'm really quite excited about trying this possibility out...
but naturally nothing is every straightforward. The success of it would depend on a couple of things. Firstly on me sourcing an old window in the next few days, but with some determination I'm not too worried about that. Secondly is that it may be hard to place the piece in the show from a curatorial point of view as up to now you (the curators) won't have been expecting it, and won't have already placed it with other artworks. Furthermore, it would require some creativity (which luckily we all have in abundance) and technical expertise to work out how to present it. Say for example we could have it leaning against a wall with a light source tucked behind it...or hanging at an angle with a spot light behind it... or if there was one room that was darker, have it in there.
There could be a lot of potential in that idea, really hard to know.
What are your thoughts? I'll keep having a think about possible solutions, and starting sniffing out for an old window in case...