Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cardboard art

The work of Chris Gilmour provokes surprise and amazement beyond what could appear to be a mere process of reproduction. In returning to the value of making and strongly emphasising it, these works reveal a process of understanding that lets us see everyday reality with new awareness and appreciation. This practice avoids a withdrawal into the limbo of craft, and implies an intimate and profound quest towards the reason of things.

Gilmour has imposed a strict logic on his works he makes objects using only cardboard and glue. There is no supporting structure, no wooden or metal frame. His interpretations of everyday objects are created in adherence to the use of a pure and single material, but instead of the marble or bronze of classical statues, he has chosen one of the most humble and commonly found of our industrial times.

Packaging cardboard is, by its very nature, intended to contain but it is then discarded. Gilmour, however, uses it to contain the work’s own identity and to highlight the displacement between the original object and the one made in cardboard. This displacement is marked by difference: his sculptures (and apart from the use of such a poor material, they conform to all the accepted precepts of sculpture) are not mere copies, but rather translations from life. This translation brings with it a process of knowledge- the knowledge of the small things within which the sense of daily existence is hidden.

The artist compares his sculptures to drawing, a way of seeing objects by observing and measuring them. There is a process of deconstruction, followed by the actual construction process. It is in this process of making, in an almost instantaneous and immediate construction, as if Gilmour was using a pencil on a piece of paper, that the subtlety of diversity is embodied.

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