Emulsion on acetate, 21x30x40cm
In contemporary society, originality could be seen to be becoming harder to distinguish, fashions and trends dictating certain looks and ideals so that individuality is more difficult to discern. Architecture is a prime example of this, especially in commercial sites, nearly identical buildings apparent the world over. I have been drawing on the fact that many spaces share the same features so that what one viewer may identify as a particular site may vary greatly to what the next person sees. This has commonly been through painting, abstracting spaces so that only a bare geometric framework remains and therefor the spatial quality becomes the focus.
I am experimenting with ways in which to exaggerate this spatial quality however and here I tested separating out the geometrical components of my paintings so that each section was on a separate plane which when united forms an image. In total there are seven areas forming a generic corridor which could be found in a multiplicity of spaces the world over. When aligned on a flat surface the components fit seamlessly together however when hung, each sheet separated by an inch, they do not fit together so cleanly. As the acetate is so light it fluctuates and moves constantly and therefore the image of the space is not as precise as I would have liked from the front. To overcome this the sheets would have to be united in a set frame and this would restrict how the piece could be displayed, a frame distracting from the shapes whilst making it harder to suspend.
Nobuhiro Nakanishi creates layered landscapes using photography. Each sheet is identical and could therefore be read on its own however my merging multiple pieces the works take on an immediate physicality. Individual shapes and figures become vague and the landscape appears to continue infinitely, an apparent movement captured as if each section was a film still. There is also a temporality, a suspended moment in time contrasting with the three dimensional nature of the work. He simultaneously captures an image and a space, though in my piece only the latter area proved successful.
From the side my work is instantly more intriguing than the front view as the whole structure is visible and therefore the spatial connotations are exaggerated. The individual shapes can be clearly discerned and as a result the viewer has to more actively engage with the piece to imagine the structure which may be made when they join up. In this way a multitude of places could be formed rather than one individual space. The innumerable nature of contemporary space can be found in Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s definition of the city and contemporary society in ‘commonwealth’.
They propose that the metropolis is a space of the common. There is an artificiality to this commonality however as it constantly fluctuates to conform to new trends. The “metropolis primarily generates rent, which is the only means by which capital can capture the wealth created autonomously” and in this sense cities are sites for exchange rather than creation. The multitude lives within the metropolis and encompasses innumerable internal differences however despite this everyone is part of the ‘network’. The metropolis is the “skeleton and spinal cord of the multitude”, intrinsically linked the multitude live off the metropolis which runs on the multitude’s “social relations, knowledge and cultural circuits. As a result, this perpetual circle of reliance in the system is impossible to overcome, one producing the common and the other living it. Similar spaces therefore are going to be perpetually produced, party to and controlling the network.
In a spatial sense the previous mobile like piece, ‘One-Space’, could be considered more successful as it not only work from every angle but extends beyond being a set plane into the exhibition space itself, dictating how the viewer interacts with the work. It would also work better alongside paintings, the duality between painting and sculpture bringing out the spatial quality in both components; as this piece exists as a painting already this is not such a possibility.