Restless States

 

Restless States | Hall of Names #2 – 1998
Sand-cast iron, Taylor’s Foundry Ltd, Suffolk
43 x 8 x 14 cm

 

 

Restless States | Hall of Names #3 – 1999
Sand-cast aluminium, Taylor’s Foundry Ltd, Suffolk
124 x 64 x 32 cm


The socio-cultural paradigm shift brought into being by the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917 had a profound effect on the arts. After Lenin declared “to work, then, comrades! We are faced with a new and difficult task” all creative production was essentially pressed into the service of the working-class movement for the next 70 years.

The Russian avant-garde initially supported the revolution as artists were transformed into agents of social change under the banner of art into production (in effect their manifesto) and a shared belief in the need for radical change to challenge the prevailing conservative norms in both art and society. This was indeed a watershed moment – a defining historical anchor from which western culture [I would argue] has pivoted ever since.

Restless States //

References changes in 1970s Soviet architecture as it fought to distance itself from functionalist strictures and the dictatorship of the right angle. The curve remonstrates against the plane & edge of monolithic orthodoxy, signalling perhaps yet again a state of change. The use of aluminium (produced in vast qualities within the Soviet Union) was the metal of the future – without which the modern era was technically impossible, and liberated metaphorically the “bright tomorrow” of communism. The immutability of iron has defined modern geo-politics – that nevertheless corrodes despite its dogmatic material presence.

 

Outside new studio – January 2017 [never shown]