During this Assignment I have noticed wrapping that makes the viewer aware of something otherwise overlooked.The shape of the wooden spoon was intensified by wrapping it without really changing the boundaries. There’s a millimetre or two added, some colour and texture, detail lost – but the spoon is now consciously experienced. An old mug is unseen in the back of the cupboard, but wrapped and then part removed our vision tries to restore it. The viewer searches out the lines, puts together fragments of information in an effort to see more.
Perception of a stretch of coast is changed because Christo and Jeanne-Claude once wrapped it. There was an event. Detail was lost and simplified, shadow and line and movement was added.Jim Lambie made a large gallery the art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. I’ve written about this previously in the context of The Stripe (15-April-2014). The floor was wrapped in coloured tape. The air in the room seemed to be pulsing. The viewer became hyper-aware of irregularities in the shape of the room which may never have been noticed in the past. Resting against a wall was Lambie’s Psychedelic Soul Stick 68, a wonderful example of wrapping that joins, disguises and transforms objects – quite different to the wrapping, intensifying and re-presenting of space I am writing of here. As part of Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi 2013 Veronica Herber wrapped an electrical transformer and the sloping ground around (3-November-2013). It celebrated the detail of this very particular place. It recorded the time taken in the wrapping process. Space that was invisible to the casual walker enjoying the magnificent coastal scenery was suddenly, forcefully, present. I became aware of Nadia Odlum at a local exhibition, Cove Lines, last year (see 4-October-2014). From her website, Odlum “is interested in the processes of perception associated with the navigation of physical spaces, with an emphasis on architectural spaces and dynamic urban environments. … Through the creation of environments that necessitate active exploration she seeks to grant the viewer a heightened awareness of their own body, and its existence in physical space.” (http://www.nadiaodlum.com/, Accessed 31-July-2015). Unfortunately some photographs I remember don’t appear to be on the website currently. Odlum had added masking tape to flights of steps, on alleyway walls and so on, cleverly linking and repeating small architectural details, drawing notice, affecting the attention, perception and experience of the passers-by.
Mel Bochner has produced a series of works bringing attention to space with vinyl tape and measurements (www.melbochner.net/exhibitions/measurement-room/). The gallery space is no longer neutral – it is the artwork. There is an interaction, a tension, between visual perception and the abstract descriptive numbers locating the viewer in the space.In a performance Tess De Quincey and Ruarc Lewis transformed the Hazelhurst Gallery with line which brought our attention to the space (4-November-2012). This could be stretching “wrapping” a little too far, but it’s relevant to my current theme (and if it seemed important one could describe the work as joining parts of the space).
Thinking about this theme, the idea of wrapping to affect awareness, I decided to wrap the front porch based on shadows over the course of a sunny winter’s day. Planning this I was certain that I have seen the idea before, and associated it with Mel Bochner – but I haven’t been able to identify a specific source. It is certainly heavily influenced by a number of the artists referenced above.
The porch is on the south west corner of the house, and in Sydney’s winter with the sun low in the sky that means it is in shade most of the morning. I began the series of taping and photographing around 11 am. There is some additional light at times reflected from the neighbouring house, which I chose to ignore during this exercise. The tape marks the boundary of light and shadow at roughly hourly increments. Sometimes the shadow moved in the time it took me to tape, which gives some mismatching. Towards the end I ran out of the blue tape and had to change.
At 11am the sun was just reaching over the roof of our house. By 5pm the porch was in full shade.
Making this sample really made me aware of the space and the changing light, but also very conscious the time of year, being in this city, the orientation of the house, and a particularly beautiful day. The same exercise in summer would have a very different result.
T1-MMT-P2 Joining and Wrapping Research – Wrapping space
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 2: Joining and wrapping
Research: Wrapping space