university of ulster, belfast
work from pépiněer residency, bratislava, slovenia
Modelling Stands is part of a body of work produced whilst on a Pépiniere Residency
in Bratislava, Slovakia in 1996 / 1997. I initially set out to reproduce the
modelling stands that were in abundance at the Art School where I had my studio.
These stands seemed fitting imagery to look at structures, how they are supported
and how they themselves support. Bratislava, at that time was the capital of
a new Slovakia, and politically keen to assert itself as such. It is a city
on the Danube and once an important juncture in the Austro - Hungarian Empire.
It hosts some fine examples of opulent Baroque architecture. It also has a
host of modernist buildings ranging from the good the bad to the ugly.
This bizarre architectural mix was of interest, not least because of the political
history it reflected. At the time I was working there the old Baroque centre
was undergoing a huge facelift in the form of refurbishment This could be interpreted
as an example of the politics of showing a visible facade to assert a particular
Producing plaster moulds of the tools used to produce the stands seemed a way
of looking at the politics and dynamics of producing something in that environment
(it being a difficult but interesting environment to work in). The casts of
mundane utilitarian objects became precious fragile things, almost iconographic
in nature, not unlike the Baroque motifs. The way the casts are seemingly,
informally juxtaposed together (after an event) could suggest a hidden history
that demands further investigation.
by Pépiniere Residencees pour Jeunes Artistes 1997