сряда, 30 юни 2010 г.

Martine Boyce, No Reflection


Martin Boyce lives and works in Glasgow.
Born in Hamilton, Scotland, in 1967, he is one of Scotland's most prominent artists and is well-known for his sculptural installation that recall and make reference to conventional public spaces - the playground, pedestrian subway, deserted or abandoned sites.


Martin Boyce in conversation the the curator Judith Winter, April 2009

What the process of finding the site meaningful to the work?

The process of looking for sites was useful in piecing the city together and in understanding some of the previous Biennale situations, but with no specific project or works in mind there were no clear parameters on what we were looking for. We looked at outdoor sites, a large overgrown football pitch surrounded on three sides by old walls, cloisters in the north of the city, a school close to the Giardini. The overriding sense as time passed and we made more site visits to Venice was how would I know when it was the right place? What would those conditions be? What work would follow the site? In October last year we saw a large hall, The Ecole Mercanti, Santa Maria Dell'Orto and the interconnected rooms of Palazzo Pisani, Santa Marina.


Haw did you make the decision about site?

Initially, the singular expanse of the Ecole Mercanti seemed like the best option and we begn to pursue thies site. [...] However, even on the plane journey back from Venice I began to imagine certian forms and elements appearing in the rooms of the Palazzo, there was something in the atmosphere and the jorney through the different rooms that stayed with me. It had a sense of abandonment that the other space didn't and that somehow opened un a whole set of possibilities for the work. For some reason I kept imagining the Palazzo as an abandoned garden and this and those initual ideas formed on the plane became the core of the exhibition.


The experience of Venice "out of biennale season" and the idea of the abandoned Island Torcello were also important in our conversation?

Once the decision of the site had been made and the place became fixed in my mind, it seemed as if the Palazzo was reflected in so many of our experiences of Venice.
The aftermath and residue of the previous Biennale was still present. It had this ghostly Mary Celeste-like quality, like waking up the morning after the party. Weathered posters and signage for 2007, the park itself unkempt and overgrown, the pavilions boarded up, it could have been two years or ten since a light had been switched on or a door unlocked.


Where does the title of exhibition come from?

Around the time I had been working on the Munster sculpure project I had been thinking about the idea of a deserted zoo. I had written a short text that tried to conjure un this image and in it there was this idea of dried up pools and how their former reflections had now evaporated and belonged to the air. Walking around the Giardini this came up and the title No Reflection stuck.


Can you say more about the form of the exhibition?

In a city built on the water, I felt that one way to introduce a number of materials, sounds or textures was through their absence. How do I introduce a pool into the second floor of a Venitian Palazzo? How does a series of interconnecting rooms become a walk through a hidden garden? How can the simultaneity of this and the acknowledgement of the site's true codition co-exist, where in a moment a classic Palazzo interior can become a frozen garden untethered from time, one landscape blown through another.


The architectual context is obviously very important to the experience of the work?

With only a few exceptions it appears that architectuarally Venice is so deeply rooted in the past that its layers of erosion and renovation are so interlaced that it's difficult to think of it as a city growing or developing. Even the modern, as with Scarpa, is old and woven through the fabric of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I began to reflect on this on relation to the work in No Reflection, the weathered concrete steppinh stones, the worn steel table, the bird box constucted from old strips of wood. [...]


You bring together the abandoned private dwelling with public space and transform the meaning of everyday artefacts and experiences. It would be particularly interesting to know more about the way that your work triggers associations.

In a recent iterview I was asked, in relation to the name Boyce meaning "lives by the woods", if I had ever lived near woods. It triggered a memory that I hadn't consciously thought about for years. I was brought up in new housing estate surrounded by what we called "the woods"; as children we spent all our time playing in there. Across one the wider parts of the stream that ran through these woods, someone had dumped five or six bags of cement still in their paper wrapper. The paper was worn away and the cement had hardened creating a series of stepping-stones. They were known locally as the golden steps. I was already working on the stepping-stones for the first room when I was reminded of this but it illustrated perfectly the possiblity of something urban and everyday transforming into something special.


You have produced several pieces that refer to images of concrete trees. Could you say more about the history of these works?

Some years ago I came across a black and white photograph of four geometric, concrete trees made for a Robert Mallet Stevens garden in 1925 by the sculptors Joel and Jan Martel. [...]

How do you re-use this tree form?

One of the early ideas for Palazzo Pisani was to remove the existing Murano glass chandeliers and introduce sculpural replacements. The structure and shapes of the Martel trees had by now developed into a lexicon of forms: screens and fences, ventilation grills, architectural pillars, concrete floors, telephone booths, masks, tables... With each new work, rather that search for new forms or play off of existing ones, I would go back to the trees and see what new transformation they could endure. For example, by simply inverting the tree an incredible, geometric chandelier was born.


Secondo piano nobile di Palazzo Pisani (Santa Marina)
7 June - 22 November 2009

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