WARWICK STAFFORD FELLOW
2013/14 Warwick Stafford Fellow:
I was interested in what the studio does and is in terms of its place in my practice, I had always been a maker, making sculpture. In the past my thoughts were that the studio was the place where my thoughts solidified in the most open minded of ways and quite literally in the case of exothermic materials such as plaster. In most cases a piece of work would be thought of, produced and finished, at least in part, in the studio. When I moved in to the studio at BALTIV 39 I was thinking about my sculptures, films and other outputs as places that my ideas, thoughts and obsessions had been, but were no longer entirely in. Leaving my works and installations as part autonomous things, stuff to join in the process of being rather than necessarily meaning.
Film plays a big part in my work, as space to put my objects, as a space to undermine them and as a space to cross pollinate them with things from the world. I see film as a mind to think in. After a few months in the studio I had written a script and embarked on the production of a feature film, called In Hinterland. It became the container in which to collect my ideas and a narrative grew quite organically out of this. I was fascinated that my studio had become a prop department and my sculptures and objects made there, props. This removal
or sidestepping of the studio as a place for objects to be secretly invested with the ideas and thoughts of the
artist interested me. At this time anything leaving the studio was not finished, was not even singularly valuable but was due one further step in its journey as a thing, as part of a greater whole. In Hinterland became a surrogate me, another version of myself to reflect upon.
In Hinterland’s story line follows a community, 1000 years from today, where collective negligence, unwittingly perpetrated by generation after generation has caused a perpetual apocalyptic world where civilisation has collapsed. No museums, no schools, no courts, no local councils, no Government, no original artefacts of the past and most importantly, no concept of the past due to its degradation both conceptually and linguistically. In Hinterland is very different from Hollywood versions of apocalypses, which propose a sudden, violent, very visible disaster and the resulting struggle of the last of humanity forced into ever increasing brutality and barbarism to survive. This apocalypse is different, it happens so slowly nobody notices, in increments, at the pace of snail and due to the shear power of collective influence.
This apocalypse does not result in the regression of the human race, in fact nothing much changes, people go about their lives in a state of blissful ignorance as the concept of the past or of others all but disappears. Until the monumental discovery of a full size model Narwhal from the Natural History Museum, Circa 2011, hidden deep underground, found by a rare inquisitive man named Herman.