If a chair leg could talk what would it tell us about the world? Who did it support, where did it live, who made it, who paid for it and how? Hidden in materials is a whole load of of different meetings and connections: in the chair leg the work of the carpenter, the forester and the human relationships that shaped its appearance and where it ended up….
This is ‘Mark-It’ formed from a chair leg found on the street near Bethnal Green tube station in London.
Thinking along these lines for example led to sculptures carved from fragments of furniture talking and becoming puppets. They started talking because they didn’t want to sit around doing nothing in a gallery, and wanted to raise their voice in places they might be of use like housing estates threatened with demolition. We can give materials a voice if we give them the energy of our imaginations.
This can work the other way round as well, when we think we know what we want to raise questions about, in a situation of injustice, images can help create a curiosity prompting people to ask questions themselves.This can be done by using metaphor, as Marx does when he speaks of a commodities value being made form congealed human labour. To reach out and touch in a way that produces an affect is often more than just communicating the facts. So what gets called ‘art’ is a very important thing because there is much that needs speaking about in a way where it is thought about for a long time. If art is a conversation, and potentially a conversation that involves important things to us we have to think about where it is seen and how. A banner for example, can offer a great opportunity to raise questions and communicate them. In this type of work I try to make use of us much imaginative intensity in the painting as possible.
I notice I’ve said a lot about struggle, but i’d like to add that the colour and images mixed with the materials can also create a kind of magic that gives us strength and the ability to see what we take for-granted giving life to what is dead through being unregarded. This can be a hit and miss but the enjoyment of this magic is a common human inheritance both in receiving through looking touching and making.
Work is often posted on Face Book as André Ceporo