Nationally acclaimed London-based artist Lucy Clout takes over International Project Space during July. Having been highlighted as one of Art Review’s ‘Future Greats’ in 2009 she broke the mould by receiving the accolade while still a student completing her MA in Sculpture at London’s Royal College.
The new exhibition, through a pastiche of works in several different media, presents a satirical mediation on the act of display. The works attempt to provide abstract exposure of the visual cliches and uniform presentation often seen in contemporary art galleries.
The crux of the display is Clouts new video work Manual Non Manual (2010). The inspiration for which has roots in historic gendered performance work. The film features a static image of the artist seated which, as it plays, develops into an instructional demonstration. As a play on the methods used in the work-out video, this film requires the viewer to copy the head and hand movements of the artist on film and the participating onlooker is then led through a series of motions.
Accompanying and supporting the video are both large-scale sculpture and smaller handmade works on card. The series of sculptural works at differing intervals both highlight and hide the structural utilitarian mechanics of display used by the gallery. These dual-purpose pieces portion off light and space to provide an intimate display. Site-specific piece Floorplan One (2010) was designed to focus attention on the inadequacy of the archetypal white cube contemporary gallery space. The smaller handmade works provide a response to the practical and intellectual journey embarked upon in the creation of an art exhibition.
This exhibition attempts to hold a mirror to the traditional practices of contemporary art display and wriggle behind the facade to the supporting mechanism beneath. Far from a passive experience, the viewer is required to engage directly with the display. The artist has been quoted as saying; there is a ‘fine line between a red herring and its malicious cousin, the wild goose chase’. Expect some deep thinking, ponder-provoking works.
Image Credit: Lucy Clout. 1, (Buh Buh Buh)., 2008. Mixed Media, H215cm x W114cm x D108c.