Friday, 12 February 2010

Problems with permanence

During a recent studio group discussion with Dalziel & Scullion we discussed the concept that NOTHING IS PERMANENT: we are living in a state of flux. If nothing is set in stone, then why make permanent work? I read that Anthony Gormleys Angel of the North will only last in situ for 70- 100 years before it corrodes to the point it becomes unstable. I wonder if Gormley is giving a big two's up to the future? Going by the current practice used by museums and heritage organisations: we are incredibly precious of things that we deem to be from the past, we attach a huge nostalgia to inanimate objects. Will the future conservators attempt to stabilise Angel of the North from further decay? In a recent studio conversation we were discussing a sculpture of a large metal sphere that would self destruct in 100 years. We were unsure of the maker or the concept, but we found it hugely exciting - would the ball explode? How would it explode- is it computer controlled? What if the computer stopped working, as technology is so incredibly unreliable? What if the documentation was lost and the sculpture suddenly exploded in a gallery or museum one day? We found the idea of this happening very funny, which made me wonder, have we become art nihilists?

All around the art school, students are being overly precious of their art, imagining that they will keep these sculptures forever, that their paintings will find a place in an incredible collection belonging to an incredible person. But when we live in an era of a six month lease, disposable contact lenses, replacing your computer every five years, divorce and multiple remarriages, can anything be permanent?

There's no time to be precious, we're in a constant state of flux - if it doesn't fit in yer rucksack then you cannae bring it with you.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

My brother has a backpack, a guitar and a cassette radio. He is the happiest person I've ever met!