12 April 2012

"Lines of thought"

In a warehouse beside a canal is the Parasol Unit, a foundation for contemporary art. You ring the bell to be let in and find a nice place to sit and read the catalogues -
 Out back, shared with Victoria Miro gallery next door, is an oasis (complete with crow's nest) -
and pond with Yayoi Kusama's floating mirrored balls, which drift in the wind and clink together softly -
The Lines of Thought show, which is on till 13 May, has works by 15 artists from the 60s to today - Helene Appel, Hemali Bhuta, James Bishop, Raoul De Keyser, Adrian Esparza, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Jorge Macchi, Nasreen Mohamedi, Fred Sandback, Conrad Shawcross, Anne Truitt, and Richard Tuttle.
Partial view of ground floor; image from here
The exhibition continues upstairs -
My favourite piece, by Jorge Macchi, who has also done some tricky things with maps and words and suchlike -
Image from here (..."poetry and mystery meet")
It's hard to put into words why I find this piece so satisfying -- but hey, that's why I'm blogging, to know what I think when I hear myself talk!  So here goes...

What I see [let's start with the easy bit, the description] is a postcard of two equal-sized blue rectangles - presumably the sea and the sky. Immediately their meeting point becomes the horizon. Metal springs hold the piece to the wall -- suspend it in tension, hold it in suspense against the wall, both extending the horizon line and making it finite -- but because the springs are coiled, they hint at the infinite extent of the horizon, if only they could be drawn out far enough to make them as straight as the line they are joined to. The horizon connotes a definite demarkation, yet an unattainable place -- it's always moving ahead of you. Sometimes, for instance when you are in a forest, it disappears. The horizon could be seen as a non-place (you can't actually go there), and yet it's not nowhere. The metal springs seem to me to be torturing the very concept of the horizon, putting it on the rack, making it fit the rack-master's idea of truth. Alternatively (or perhaps, "also") the message could be that a horizon can be as wide as you want. It's up to the viewer to decide.

1 comment:

Stitchinscience said...

Hi Margaret, thanks for posting about this gallery - completely new to me and looking like it is well worth a visit.