Logos: 1/3 of a Proposal

The second of the triangulated series for the project is a large scale porcelain work roughly three-and-a-half metres long. The original conception was for the form to be supported or suspended at head height. The opening directly facing the persons face as it whispers from deep inside. But as she comes closer to make sense of what she hears, low-frequency, omnidirectional vibrations/sounds, emanating from two large speakers held high over the work, get louder with every approaching step. The two sources work in opposition as they affect the viewer’s choreography around the installation.

As with Enshrinement, working with a small version in the same material allows me to see alternatives and rethink things artistically and curatorially. I had originally rejected the idea of placing the sculpture on the ground or low plinth. Seeing it now, it could work in such a position. This might be a viable alternative if spatial or curatorial conditions preclude suspension but I still prefer the for the work to be supported off the ground. This would be closer to the intention of creating a more direct object-subject relationship; an encounter in which the sculpture is more active with a greater agency.

I am confident that the sinuous form reflects some of my initial inspirations: an alimentary canal-like structure as a raw core, divested of its body; a cast of a cave complex with its associations with prehistoric cave dwellings. It has cast off the rudimentary protean bodies of Enshrinement, presenting something more alien and primitive more animal which is nonetheless human but not in a mimetic way. It is formalised, rendered more ritualistic by the inscriptions covering its surface, ritual and biology in close proximity.

Words covering the surface of the form (not on this small scale maquette) are barely readable at a distance. The viewer has to come closer in order to be able to read the text, a synthesis of St John, Hesiod, and Darwin carved repetitively into the sculpture’s circumference. It is hard to make out where the repeated text begins and ends possibly fostering misunderstanding, reinterpretation, reconstruction. The stability of the sculpture is subverted by its suspension and the disorientating sounds and text. Again, I attempt to shift the agency of the still sculpture a little further towards it. Like Enshrinement, Logos explores relationships: object-subject, the individual, language, the animal, the sacred. The viewer is invited to make their own inferences, connections and associations, participating in the making of a narrative that takes certain points only as beginnings.

Playing on the tendency to see meaning, intention and agency in things, ambiguity offers the possibility for poetic interpretation. Evolutionary ideas lie beneath each work but not made explicit. First in the formal vitrine, now in this secular sacred-like environment. The third work moves further away from the human, delving into a more Darwinian world exalted into an aesthetic object.