Friday, 31 May 2013

The contents and their challenges

So....  lining the case with maps and postcards was easy. In fact it took longer to come up with those ideas than it did to do the work...... actually that's a lie....  

Anyway before getting onto the main subject of this post - the contents of the trunk - I am happy to say that the third map arrived yesterday so here are a few pics of the fully lined case. Isn't it lovely?

The first thing I did in relation to contents was to scale down one of the components of my own installation in the original exhibition. The suitcase full of keys has shrunk to the size of an old cigar box and has also been modified to harmonise it with the case and to slightly expand its conceptual remit.

All the other contents of the trunk were provided so it was just a matter of working out where and how they were going to go. This has been the most difficult part of the exercise. Helen Omand's fragile cradle and Penze and Fiore's figurines in particular needed to be presented in such a way that did them justice but also gave them a lot of protection.

After lots of thinking there was a eureka moment as I remembered the delightful shop fittings, displays and accessories store that I used to frequent on Seven Sisters Road. Paid a visit and right by the door as I walked in was the answer......

Not only was this item perfect in terms of display function and size it was also half price which I knew would make the Something Human team very happy indeed. Will fix everything safely in the display case and also fix the case securely in the trunk today and post results later.

There are two other content challenges. John Clang's has been resolved by fixing an old radio aerial inside the lid of the trunk and draping his photos over it. This has several benefits. The photos can be seen from both sides, the aerial effectively creates another space / dimension to the whole spectacle and it can be neatly retracted when the trunk is on transit.

The other challenge of how to display Gloria Houng's prints may be irresolvable in the short term. However, this just means that the travelling team will have to transport and display them separately until we find a longer term solution.

I will leave you with this little abstraction....

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Maps and postcards, velcro and glue

After the initial experimentation with arrangements I emptied the trunk and using a combination of maps and Nina Feldman's postcards, covered some of the flat interior spaces. Rather than put up  whole maps, I cut them into strips and reassembled them in a grid to make things more interesting.

Despite measuring I didn't account sufficiently for overlap so ended up getting through the two maps I originally thought I would need pretty quickly. I did manage the cover the vertical lid and one of the vertical interior sections. There's another map in the post so will complete the other sections when it arrives.

I arranged some of Nina's postcards so that they covered the entire base of the trunk. This was great! I really enjoyed having the chance to look closely at all these images of Victoria Roads around the world in a way that I didn't have time for during the original exhibition. The effect is good too.

I think I have to remark already that this project would not be possible without glue and lots of Velcro. The Velcro is particularly useful - it not only enables everything to stay in place during transit but also allows for future options. All the decorated surfaces on the floor, lid and sides of the trunk are removable thanks to 25m of this.... :)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

First Steps - Preparing the trunk

Before starting to pack there was a lot of thinking.

The main conceptual (or was it aesthetic?) challenge was harmonising the trunk in a way that made it a completely new project whilst seamlessly integrating as much of the essence of the original exhibition as possible.

The main logistical challenge was ensuring that the contents of the trunk, once definitively arranged,  would be secure enough to be thrown around, possibly on conveyor belts and planes, without moving, breaking or damaging the interior of the harmonised trunk.

When Annie delivered the trunk and most of the exhibition contents to my studio we were able to talk about possibilities and also play around a little with arrangements. The case itself, with its separate compartments, hanging area and internal covers dictated the initial possibilities. However, as soon as the red silk dress from Penzo and Fiore's piece in the original show was on its hanger we had a great focal point from which the internal arrangement of the trunk began to flow.

And that was how we got the first picture:

Thursday, 23 May 2013

WITH(OUT) is going On The Road...

WITH(OUT) was the great little exhibition curated by Something Human at the Brockspace last December which I both participated in and reviewed (see review here).

Well.... it's going on the road and the curatorial team of Something Human have asked me to prepare it for the journey. In essence it is the entirety of the WITH(OUT) exhibition condensed into a big travelling trunk which will be presented like a theatrical installation. In keeping with the nature of all journeys it will not only take things with it but will inevitably pick other things up along the way.

The trunk and some of its contents (either modified or as presented in the original exhibition) were delivered to me a few days ago. I will start working fully on the project next week and will also be photo and text documenting the process and its challenges both here and on the Something Human WITH(OUT) blog.

In the meantime here is the awesome trunk ....