Notes on... things i've seen

soanemuseum.jpgI went to the John Soane museum at the weekend as i heard he was a collector extraordinaire- there was books and marble everywhere, hanging off every wall- the place seemed to drip and it was awesome. I especially liked the way he catalogued stuff, every thing seemed to be in it's place and had little numbers on things- one room which caught my attention was one where the walls could either slide, or were hinged or something and behind the wall covered in paintings were more paintings- layers of collecting is nice. Links in nicely to my stuff with storage and display. I should also reflect on the bottom drawer exhibition we went to at John Soane's Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing. A great exhibition which looked alot at collecting and display and the way the objects we keep are interacted with. All the stuff from the loft was placed in 2 rectangles on the floor of the gallery and it was weird to see the collection in an order but not be able to be seen or investigated, it had been carefully placed but in piles or on top of each other to invite you to view from different angles- there were also photos from exhibitors homes on the walls- of the things they kept and had either stored or displayed. The pictures picked up tiny idiosyncrasies and detailed the subtle, interesting banality of the homes, they really gave a feeling as to the exhibitors character and what they found important.

Ikilling_machine_2.jpg also went to Modern Art Oxford at the weekend- very good, (and some beautiful identity and poster work for the museum i have to say) It was curated well with no explanation as you went round and then a 15 minute documentary with the curator and the artists about the work- that's the way i like it. The work being shown was by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller and was teh sweet. My favourite piece was a sculpture called 'The Killing Machine' and it started with a big red button with a spotlight that you had to press to start it and then there was a light and a speaker moving around this big frame and these robotic arms began to observe and look investigatively at this reclining electric type chair. The music crescendo after a while and the robot arms began to attack the chair with pneumatic pistons- i make it sound whack but it was awesome- the music created this narrative effect, the robots seemed very real, or had personalities or whatever due to their form and also their lights which behaved like eyes, and the best part was the shadow which was cast on wall which was horrifically menacing and scary. Good art. It seems more relevant than it did at the time in relation to my project, when i think about pinning butterflies to boards and about the button at the beginning and the choice/ viewer initiated horror.