Sculpture: Double Studio [1.4.14]
by Beauchamp Art
[Studio Games in the Spirit of David Thorne]
Studio space twice. Desk, chair, rusted metal, circuit board, balloon, tin-can-phone, bin. April the 1st [April Fool’s Day] joke on myself [1.4.14]
The date features a doubling of 1-4, in it being the first of April, 2014, which when simplified becomes 1.4.14 (1414), so as a consequence of this, I decided to recreated my studio space twice, once on top of itself, not exactly recreating the lower desk on the upper, but creating direct visual parallels. Having two desks, chairs, rusted metal pieces, circuit boards, leaflets, deflated balloons, bins and two tin-cans connected together to form a telephone. This was paralleled by the doubled posters on the adjacent lockers; one for the NUA Dialogues and one for the film Nymphomaniac; which I did not position, but fed into the arrangement effectively, similarly to the two paint outlines on the smaller desk, that was not itself doubled.
This could function as a sort of physical embodiment of a psychological glitch (in the Matrix); metal slippage, seeing double or déjà vu; failing vision and hallucination or hiccup in the everyday; positioned in my seldom used studio that functions more as a thoroughfare than as a location for making and displaying work. This means that the piece is exclusively seen in passing, not presented like serious work, and cannot be dwelled upon in such a short space of time, so will be accepted or dismissed immediately. There is seemingly little ownership for this piece, as a number of the elements are appropriated, and the assemblage/instillation was dismantled without my permission after the event – presumably by the Health and Safety or Estates department of the university. This is relatively annoying, as had this been a more thoroughly thought through piece, by myself or anybody else, then my work would have been taken apart without warning – like an act of art-anarchy or Yellowism – not quite writing on a Rothko, but I would still consider it a faux pas. It could be argued that my role in this work as the initial assembler is secondary to the anonymous figure of the disassembler, the deconstructer – they who has taken it upon themselves to destroy and undermine the work of others with thought or consideration to their initial intention.
I do have a habit and a desire of mildly disrupting studio etiquette as a form of passive punk protest to some of the aspects of the institution that I object to; in this case, and previously, the studio spaces – and how they are not logically or evenly distributed, nor do they reflect the needs of the students, such as the need for elbow room (worse still for the current first year Fine Art students, who could not swing the smallest of cats without impacting it upon a neighbor’s space) – and more broadly the lack of fair distribution of means in a wider, political sense; and general annoyance at the contemporary mismanagement of means, and a lack of consideration for the individual. Such as if one was to compare a household of average income to the highest and lowest earners, and make note of the differences in scale and content.
Previously, when first allocated my studio space in second year, I promptly moved to my current space where the lockers were, moving them around the corner, and claiming the non-space as my own. I then took up the spare, unused desks of absentees, and piled them onto the plan-chest draws in the center of the studio, setting up multiple table and chair arrangements on top of one another, have a throne-like chair position on top, which I or anyone else could sit in. This was repeatedly taken down by anonymous persons, and reassembled by myself, over the course of a week or two, until the excess tables were removed, and the draws rearranged.
On another occasion, after finding an armchair and a table top in a near-by skip, I placed the round table on top of the drawers (as it had no legs) to form large desk space for communal use, and positioning the armchair temporarily in my studio space; giving it an unnecessary luxury that only saw use during one group critique, before being taken away by myself.
Such activities as these form the basis of sustain mild disruption without any consequence, actions with no meaning to entertain myself, done at the expense of no one else; isolated acts in a communal space, like playing games with search engines; looking for Googlewhacks (two words searched in Google producing only one result), or the Godwin’s Law Wikipedia Game (clicking on a random article, and attempting to find one’s way to Hitler in the fewest links/moves), and other actions that find parabolic patterns where there are none, or for no reason; twiddling ones’ thumbs.
Double Studio 1.14.14 and similar performances are existential acts, done fully aware of their own purposelessness, much as thinking and writing about such pointlessness is in itself a meaningless activity. In doing this, I have spent more time writing about a spontaneous joke-piece than I may do for various other pieces or relevant activities. Wasting time in a time/attention economy is like throwing money away.
As my tutor Carl pointed out, this resembles one of the images from Benohound Hicham’s La salle de classe, 1994-2001. This seems a fitting absurdest parallel, and the deconstruction of the classroom relates to themes of contemporary education and information glut that I sometimes feed into my work; such as in my proposal for Firstsite which involves drawing from a video onto a chalkboard; which comes loaded with implications of pedagogy and the young person’s learning environment; slowly becoming saturated and dominated by digital culture.