In Cork recently The Glucksman was high on my list of places to visit. I've been watching information, comments and adulation on twitter and in the Irish media for a while.
Yes an amazing building it in its own right demands observation and appreciation 'an award wining architectural gem'. It sits on the grounds of Cork University. Wonderful setting the building imposing yet yielding to giant oaks around it. I'd imagine that some might find the steps, glass, angled and pivot points of architectural genius intimidating. I just thought the entrance a lot of stairs which made me think an older generation with bad hips, knees and eyesight would find it off putting. The lift option was like a service elevator and not so obvious to use. The style cool and functional but the corrugated metal door not so inviting or obviously the lift upstairs. Yup it also made me think of people I knew who were not physically able to move fluidly up a stairs. I thought about Mark the artist I used to mentor and how he and his Camphill community would find the entrance to navigate. These thoughts were fleeting, I did not dwell on them as the glass encased stairs gave breath to the exhibition white box space.
Right in front of you as you step off the stairs you are in the exhibition.
First impressions the exhibition looked inviting and the white cube had its edges knocked out protruding angles into the tree line.
To the right a narrow corridor leading to an open space book shop and desk behind you. As is often the case a person ensconced behind a computer screen was more attentive to it and not what I would describe as friendly or engaging.
Perhaps that is my expectation if you work for a cultural institute part of your remit is to welcome people to the space. But then again this white box has not been designed like that. You can interact with the art with out any interaction.
Motion capture was what a good contemporary art exhibitions should be - informative, challenging, thought provoking. A week later I'm still thinking about it... If you'd in or around Cork take a look.
So what am I thinking aboutDrawing.
The work presented in terms of moving image how it was curated the connection between the work the work itself.
It was great to see contemporary Irish artists exhibited along side Henry Matisse drawings. Alice Maher I would know by her reputation as a lecturer in Dun Laoghaire Art College but have never seen any of her work till now. I watched the drawing with my 10 and 14 year old and was glad my 8 year old did experience it. I felt this piece should have had an age appropriate warning for parents to consider if it was suitable for their children to watch. raised some interesting comments from both our boys. in the context of the exhibition I thought it was an good piece.
I loved Susan Morris work although hers is possibly the most controversial in my mind. Drawing that is not drawing.
There lies the crunch...
When you think of drawing what is your perception?Pencil, paper? By hand? If drawing has been completed with technology how do we view it?
I write this standing in line at the Titanic exhibition in Belfast trying to clear one cultural experience to make room for a different one. Cork/Belfast connected on our family holiday by things related to history, heritage and culture.
Susan Morris work prompted me to question not only her method, concept but inclusion. But the bigger question of why make work like that?
Is it an intellectualisation of something more simple just for the sake of it?
Her work was visually captivating, white pristine lines almost hanging before the black background. Her method ->
Watch an old movie
Record her response which was performance based and repetitive
Translate the recording into digital information
The expression of which was a digitally transference of data into a 'drawn line'
The theme is patterns, mark making, printing, contrast of black and white. The mix gives rise to a mechanically produced line. The lines have a irregularity that are not from the hand but they are not graphically designed.
But is that not a convoluted process? I'm reminded of children scribbling repetitively to music or their own internal works of their mind, when I have worked with autistic children I have seen this type of behaviour extenuated.
But I am also reminded of Gerda Teljeur work (Surface Tension, Wexford Arts Centre 2007) where she draws by hand in ink or graphite large scale line drawings. Her work would have made an interesting contribution to the exhibition and I see a visual and cultural connection to Susan Martins work.
It would be interesting to take a group of teens to view both artist work and discuss process and outcomes, along with an arts making opportunity.
So I am still thinking of the exhibition.
I also enjoyed Ailbhe Ní Bhriain piece.
There was one great drawing on a circular table with a mirrored tube looking at the drawing it was difficult to make out what it was but the reflection showed instantly this was a fly - in an instant my mind connected to the early animation device phenakistoscope, but I did not take note of who the artist was.
Interestingly the Irish Times focuses on very different aspects of the exhibition you can read the review here.
The Glucksman http://www.glucksman.org/
Sue Morris http://www.suemorris.ie
I see there is a Symposium on Drawing in October, that would be interesting to go to.Do you go to exhibitions? then what?