|Creators:||Dutton, Steve and Swindells, Steve|
Atrocities: 20 framed A5 prints.20 framed A4 prints.
Like much of their work Dutton and Swindells are encoding representations and meanings without explicitly revealing them. This is particularly the case with images such as these where they are not only asking questions about the documentary representation of violence but also continuing to ask questions about the nature of an image itself. The artists inscribed a coloured geometric shape around those forever ‘caught’ in the moment of extreme suffering as gesture of respect, each shape was then presented within a black ground.
The dahlia flowers like ‘Mongrel’ are a series of hybrids and ‘refined’ strains. The flower head despite in full bloom is inverted and therefore looking towards the ground as opposed to the sun. As the aspiration for the plant and flower head grows it requires continuous artificial support in order to keep it upright. The captions of figure numbers in the font of Muenchner Fraktur’ refers to documentary illustration as seen in history books or the processes of classifying an image as seen in dictionaries.
Impotency text: Wall text 2009. For some time Steve Dutton has been receiving Spam e-mails which are attempting to sell various products intended to give extra special sexual potency and stamina. For some unknown reason, at least unknown to the artists, each of these e-mails comes encoded in various collaged pieces of classic literature, perhaps to by-pass spam filters.
The artists have reproduced one of these texts here in ‘Muenchner Fraktur’, a gothic German font, issued in 1875 by the C.E. Weber Foundry. The artists are interested in using the décor and style of the font to flatten or disarm (make impotent) its weighty symbolism.
Mongrel: Photographic print 2009. This is a photograph of Steve Swindell’s dog (a mongrel), with a mask of a Dalmatian (a pedigree). Dutton and Swindells consider this work as an announcement about their current work. The mongrel dog is a mascot for the ‘Institute of Beasts’ project.
The ‘Institute of Beasts’ not only provides a shelter but is founded upon the notion of marginality; for beasts that seemingly exist on or within a margin.
Three word chant: Sound piece/ 8 mins 7 sec /repeated every 22 mins/2009. The artists have developed a process of transcribing texts into musical notation. The process involves ‘writing’ onto a musical soft ware programme. A number of their recent pieces have used political, or inflammatory slogans as the ‘base’ text from which they then develop a sound-work. The slogan they have used here is the ‘anti-chant’ of the anti-globalisation movement, a chant which says nothing apart from ‘Three word chant’.
Death to the Fascist Insect That Preys on the Life of the People: Sound piece / 7 mins 44 sec played on continuous loop through headphones.
Vicki in bits: 15 min sound piece and animation.
Free Association: Three screen animation. Free association, more properly known as ‘Psycho-dynamic’ theory, is a process used in psychoanalysis in which the analyst suggests words to the analysand (patient) who has to respond as quickly as possible, thus potentially making unconscious revelations about themselves which they may normally not recognise. This piece is the outcome of a process of ‘free association’ between the artists.
After the sessions, the artists re-mixed up the words so as to create a new series of associations and meanings. This work also uses a very popular and vulgar ambigram of a double headed woman, which oscillates between a ‘beautiful princess’ and an ‘old witch’.
Monkey Nuts: The artists rather like the fact that the ceramic nuts are ridiculous (comical) objects, whilst also seeking to recognise the humble peanut as quite decorative and special. The monkey nut (as we call them in UK) is a great equaliser between beasts, as we may all feel the same simian act as we break one open. The artists have introduced the ceramics into the space in a relaxed manner and invite the audience to sit and share the mats with the nuts whilst listening to ‘Three Word Chant’; (if you need to move the ceramics please handle with care).
Absent Geometric Form: An absent architectural multi-faceted object. The geometric form was originally a model for a hard edge modern sculpture, similar to the ones seen in big city plazas. Except the artist model lacked any sensibility of a crisp utopian grandeur, noting instead an aesthetic for lack.
|Additional Information:||Support from Coventry University, The University of Huddersfield and The Arts Council of England|
|Schools:||School of Art, Design and Architecture|
|Event Title:||The Institute of Beasts|
|Event Location:||Kuandu Museam of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan|
|Event Dates:||20 June 2009 - 2 August 2009|
|Deposited By:||Graham Stone|
|Deposited On:||09 Jul 2009 17:27|
|Last Modified:||30 Jul 2010 14:17|