Un-fair (Bronze cast of a stone from outside the artists’ studio, worn in the Assistant Director’s shoe during installation of ‘The Fair Show’)
At Europa and Ryan Gander's 'Parallel Cards' event at Somerset House earlier in the year, we asked Rasmus of Europa if he would sell us a pack of the double sided playing cards that he had developed with Ryan. Perhaps we could do a swop for a Hut Project work, we suggested. 'But what would you give me' he asked - 'a stone in my shoe'?
We decided to act on Rasmus' suggestion for The Fair Show. We selected a small stone from outside our studio and had a bronze cast of it made. This 'replicant' stone was given to Matt Williams - Assistant Director of Limoncello with responsibility for The Fair Show - who 'wore' it in his shoe during the show's installation.
In this way we rendered Rasmus' subjective impression of our artistic attitude as a new work - 'Un-Fair' - via an object made to perform through its implication in the structure of the Gallery. The work makes material use of an instance of our public reception, of the way we exist for someone we have worked with and who has come to know us and our work. The stone in the shoe has come to embody The Hut Project. In the words of Matt Williams who has been 'wearing' the stone for the duration of the show's install it (and by extension we) are 'not painful, just a bit irritating'.
As the show opened the bronze was removed from Matt's shoe and displayed along the entrance to the space, on the 'corridor' wall that guides the viewer into the exhibition. The wall was painted a reflective black, and the stone placed at the end of the wall, at the moment it opens out into the main space of the gallery. It is supported by a small shelf made of 2-way acrylic mirror. The mirror is simultaneously transparent and reflective, at times suggesting the bronze is held without support and at others directly implicating it in the space around it through reflection. The active and uncertain nature of the support, the movement of the viewer past the black wall with their image partly reflected in it, and the way the whole work guides the viewer into the rest of the space, all combine to reactivate the bronze, which is simultaneously a relic of the performance which rendered it as a work of art, and a new active work in itself.
At the close of the show the dimensions of the black wall will be used to create a black veneered mdf panel, which will become the support for the work in all future re-presenatations. In this way the specifics of the site through which the work activated itself will be objectified and made static once more.