This project addresses the way that we appropriate or play with other culture's artifacts.
"Gestalt Today, Atomistic Tomorrow" Watercolor pencils and ink on plaster, 26x26x1.5cm. 2012
In 2012 Rachel and I couchsurfed from the top of Morrocco down
to reach the desert and then went back up. Along the way we saw lots of beautiful craftsmanship, but what stuck with me for some reason or another was the way that some Zillij patterns appeared to be more 'care-free' or simple than others. This is difficult to explain considering that many of the patterns and combinations have been handed down over time and have only become more elaborate and complex. But this single pattern stuck out to me
while I woke up and fell asleep next to it in our host's home in Fez.
"Missing Link" Lasercut acrylic plastic and wood, 41x65x1cm. 2012
Another iteration, but quite large and it was entirely made out of re-used cardboard exclusively from boxes that shipped tables to the Glasgow School of Art, probably made in China, probably sold from a distributer in Iowa, probably assembled in a warehouse in another country before that... Great big help from Jonathan Cook
who also makes great work.
"Go on Vacation, Rearrange the Furniture" Plaster and pigment, 112x140x1.5cm. 2013 part of the series at New City Space called "Perfectly at Home"
It took me a while but I figured out how to pigment the plaster and then it was finally in color and about the same size as the tiles I saw in Fez, albeit much more fragile and mass-produced.
Although this was an intensive work this was all a red herring because during a few hours of the opening, myself and some workshop participants were secretly planting artwork in people's pockets, purses and jackets as they bent down to interact with the pieces. In small drug-like bags were small versions of the installation. People found them days, sometimes weeks later, but during the night none of us were caught in the act.
I created a month long workshop where we practiced what I called 'reverse-pick-pocketing' in public spaces around Glasgow for the opening. We watched videos and become aware of the mechanics of how people work in groups to distract someone. We also found that it is far more difficult to put objects in pockets than to slide things out of them. Culture doesn't necessarily move along ethical lines... it all tends towards hybridity, miscommunication, a reaction to colonization.
- WORKS ON...
- WITH OTHER PEOPLE