April 24, 2006

Vertigo

Off to Edinburgh to install my exhibition at the Sleeper Gallery (www.sleeper1.com). The show previews on Friday 28 April 6pm – 8pm, then runs for a month – have a look and let me know what you think. It is accompanied by a long-ish poem, like the show, called Vertigo (ISBN 1 904443 10 9) which you will be able to get via Sleeper. On my first visit to the space I was struck by its incredible white-cubeness. This seemed to be the ‘traditional’ contemporary gallery space we are all used to, carried to almost abstraction. Going from the Gallery to the yard outside (which in Scotland is called ‘an area’); I got to wondering what is the relationship between the experience of a real space and an abstract space and also the notion of Space itself. Following discussions with Professor Graham White of London University, (www. dcs.qmul.ac.uk/~graham), the poem was written in Köln and Delft in Holland. The show carries the linguistic investigation into the multi-dimensions of the Sleeper space adding a further question: how can spatialised text work homotopically?

April 23, 2006

The Golden Rule

http://www.guardian.co.uk/monarchy/story/0,,1696083,00.html

The poet laureate, Andrew Motion, and the master of the Queen's music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, have written a work together to mark the monarch's 80th birthday. Davies has set a poem called The Golden Rule, written for the occasion by Motion. The poem “tackles”, at the suggestion of Maxwell Davies, "changes in the natural world, and people accelerating those changes, sometimes positively, sometimes not. And through those changes and in and among them, the Queen remains the same". The piece was performed at a service at St George's Chapel, Windsor, today and at Windsor festival in September. Sir Peter described Motion as "very sympathetic and professional - he knows exactly what he's about". That’s as may be and as a anti-monarchist you’d think I won’t care, but demonstrating the dire state of British Official Verse Culture, he certainly knows exactly nothing about writing poetry in the 21st Century. I won’t glorify the poem more than it deserves by reproducing it here, as it is so bad that it really shouldn’t have seen the light of any day. The format – form is term with more gravitas than it can claim – is four stanzas each line beginning with ‘The…’. Each stanza = one sentence, grammatically unchallenging and leaden; each concluding with (hold onto your stomachs) "The golden rule, your constancy, survives." Ok why should I suffer alone? Here’s how it opens:

The waves unfurl and change the shape of coasts,
The shrinking woods fall backwards through their leaves,
The night-horizons twist in chains of light:
The golden rule, your constancy, survives.

This repetition at the end of the sentence doesn’t make it poetry it is the device of rhetorical politicians. I know he’s the poet laureate and keenly pushes the poetic clock back pre-modernism but the celebration of monarchical divinity is vile.

Ideas are in the pipeline for a joint piece to mark Prince Charles's 60th birthday in 2008 – o fuck.

April 18, 2006

Palermo Restored

My poem in response to Blinky Palermo's Edinburgh Art College 1970 installation (http://www.eca.ac.uk/palermo/index.htm) has now been published by Greville Worthington as a limited edition card. The layout means I can't really represent it here, but I'm happy to post it out to anyone who requests one - while stocks last!

April 09, 2006

Back from Koln

Just returned from spending time with Ulrich Ruckriem in Köln, Germany. For those who don’t know his work, here’s a quick introduction:

A couple of sites featuring gallery installations:
http://www.donaldyoung.com/ruckriem/ruckriem_index.html

http://www.artseensoho.com/Art/ACE/ruckriem98/ruckriem1.html

A couple of sites public art works:
This one shows the projects that I commissioned in Radcliffe
http://www.irwellsculpturetrail.co.uk/trailitem.asp?ID=19
This one is the piece currently showing at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park
http://www.ysp.co.uk/view.asp?id=213

Anyway, I had a great time working in his studio and managed to finish the publication which accompanies my show in Edinburgh in May. And in long conversations got an insight into where Ulrich’s work has moved to. In most people’s mind his work is characterised by huge stone installations (of which there are still 12 commissions still in the pipeline in the next 2 years) but the latest works feature a remarkable departure – dematerialising the object completely in favour of geometric projects of its absence accompanied by a massive output of drawings. The only site you can see an example that I know of is from the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford.

http://www.modernartoxford.org.uk/Exhibitions/index.php?cmd=archive&id=33