Representative of the layout that I would be provided if I was to get a space at Hermitage House.


Contextual Site-specific XTREME

Francis Alys

In this piece Alys dragged a blog of ice through Mexico City until it melted. It is very similar to my dragging rock piece in the respects of practicalities and in concept. Alys’s efforts can be seen as completely ludicrous and futile just as my work can be seen as it. In a way they are similar in the drawing they create whilst dragged, in another they both erode away at the surface similar to my agassiz’s rock piece. I believe he is dabbling in the value of art as well, questioning us why we value his futile effort so much. The performance aspect is interesting as usually we expect something to be achieved through the performance; however it is completely pointless. In Dave Sherry’s work he plays with this idea:

This is an idea Sherry gives which enables the audience to come up and complain to him about anything in the gallery he is situated. None of the complaints are taken down and nothing is solved.

Gordon Matta-Clark works in the idea of interventions with the area he is exhibiting in. He likes to disturb the norm

Matta-Clark studied architecture so his work mainly revolves around buildings. This photo is of one of his works were he cut a building in half from the inside. I want my works to interrupt the scenery but in a subtle way, I want the viewer to feel rewarded when they find my piece.

Baldessari’s California word piece is something I found quite inspiring.

That’s a terrible picture, but basically Baldessari got a map of California and followed it to were the letters spelling “California” were in real life: once he got to the area, he made a letter out of local materials exactly were the letter was on the map as if mirroring the map in real life. Blending the virtual world with the real world. I have enjoyed playing with maps throughout my time on Blackford Hill and have used map references to create works such as in “messy” an upcoming blog piece were I utilise an orienteering map to create my own path for the audience to follow. This will take the form of a small slip of paper inserted into the orienteering maps already sold.

Richard Long’s walking pieces

I was really influenced by Richard Long’s way of working – he just went into the environment and started creating works. I was also interested in the marks you can make whilst walking, making large drawings through soil erosion.

Dennis Oppenheim’s site markers are some of his earliest works but they consist of an idea that I really think relates to my project and something I find interesting.

The work goes into finding these objects rather than the production of them. This works with the “messy” piece, you have to create the artwork yourself. Oppenheim’s devil’s Hole’s scale is something that has inspired my work throughout this project, the fact you can only see the whole piece from far off is an interesting idea. It heavily influenced the dragging rock piece.

so yeah. Those are some of the influences.

Leaflet and Artists Books

Artists books are works of art realised as books usually created in small editions or even one-of-a-kinds called uniques. It is seen as a late 20th Century movement but the origins date back to William Blake, who produced his own books along with his wife. After world war 2 artists books were seen as a way of communicating between countries to continue art.

In probably the most famous artist’s book, Ed Ruscha’s 26 Gasoline Stations, the artist travelled along a highway in America and took pictures of all the gas stations he passed. The book was sold in the gas stations as supposed to in art galleries or traditional art “shops.” This disestablished the artist from the artworld, and its something I would very much like to imitate in my work. I will therefore only hand my book through sources on the hill or the hermitage beside the hill.

I have chosen to create my artist’s book in leaflet format to mirror the way the hill is represented to the public and to blend in with the other leaflets it would be presented beside.

Other famous books include:

Sol Lewitt’s “Shadows on a Brick Wall” which documents the shadows on a brick wall over a period.

Kozlowski’s “Reality” which looks at one of Kant’s theories but deconstructs it so that the words are gone and only the punctuation remains.

Another idea which intrigued me was the pioneering ideas of Laurie Anderson who chooses to document her artist’s books in the form of CD-Rom or DVD-Rom. This is a very up-to-date idea which works in ways that video can be shown. Internet blogging sites would work as well for this and I should consider this as well.

Here is a draft for the leaflet:

So yeah, there’s another bit.

Dragging Rock

Continuing on with the theme that Blackford Hill is my canvas to make marks on, I decided to return one incredibly heavy stone back to the quarry. The rock was angular and obviously cut in a certain way so I wished to return what was taken from the land back to the land. It was really heavy. REALLY HEAVY.

The rock should still be there, and hopefully will be for a long time more.

rock at its starting point

hill at the side of bridge

corner at the bridge with graffiti

long path

long path

muddy patch beside hill

steep hill

sharp corner

rocky hill

rock at its destination

dragging path

Be sure to watch this space as I will soon be uploading video footage of the long drag. It was long, as you can see nearly 400m long.

The work I’ve done

So far, its been a case of traveling up the hill, and working spontaneously which explains my absence from the computer and the blog.

I’ve done a variety of different actions each based upon either the history of the hill or just reactions to what is up there.

Agassiz’s Rock is a giant boulder investigated by Louis Agassiz, the famous geologist, to have marks made by glacial erosion. He was to have said “This is the work of the ice.”

I chose to make my own marks on the rock by throwing snowballs onto the rock, an aggressive and playful method of mark making. The act of snowballs mirrored the contemporary use of the hill for recreation. The snow will then thaw on the rock, and water will seep into the rock. The temperature will then cool down over the night and freeze the water that is inside the rock and little fragments of the rock will then chip off due to the space the ice needs. This process is called plucking and would eroded marks. The act of snow on the rock as well is similar to Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings, leaving the process up to chance.

I filled my own footsteps with snow which I think could develop into something else.

Makeshift Weather Station

Clean Zone