Social Sculpture: Places and traces of fear, greed and sex
an installation of photographs, film and live art
The Aldeburgh Beach Lookout Aldeburgh , Suffolk
Social Sculpture: Places and traces of fear, greed and sex references my many years of interest and work in the social and physical aspects of the public realm. Captured in still and moving images, text, and participatory live art, the trace elements of social interaction are explored through the incidental sculptural forms of litter. Litter is defined as ‘used or waste products that have been disposed of improperly, without consent, in an inappropriate locations.’ Presented as social sculpture, the act of littering reveals intuitive design, collaborative artforms, cultural commentary and the fundamental driving forces of fear, greed and sex.
Places and traces of fear, greed and sex are explored in three parts: the installation in the Lookout introduces the layers of investigation featured through film and photography, the live art performances, with volunteer participants on Crag Path will provoke instinctive reactions to the dynamic of social interaction, and the Social Sculpture photo booth in the top of the Lookout invites the public to consider their place in the fear, greed and sex social spectrum. The new work produced by the live art and photo booth activities will join the main exhibition throughout the day.
The opportunity to develop new work prompted the concept for Fear, Greed and Sex, a participatory artwork which invited volunteers 'to consider which of the three motivating forces of fear, greed and sex was for them, at this time, on this day, the strongest force. And having considered, and come to a decision, to volunteer toshare this decision and be photographed and identified only by their choice.
The Tower room was transformed into a photo booth, with Michael Woods, the artist's assistant in attendance to supervise a short but memorable visit which included enjoying the spectaular view and concluded with the attendent taking a digital photograph. This photograph then became a part of the series, and a part of the overall Social Sculpture project.
click to enlarge
Public places, common spaces - from sidewalks, to parks and gardens, alleyways and underpasses - places for people (?) - these are sites which have always interested me and been the motivation for work I have curated and produced over many years. Most notably, as Artistic Director of The Art of Common Space, a five year project with Haring Woods Studio, initially co-curated with American artist and theatre director Robert Wilson, and international political and cultural theorist Prof. Benjamin Barber. The notion of the democracy of common space, the erosion of civil liberties in public spaces, the privatisation of the publicly owned lands and the transformative power of shared visual and performing arts experiences in public spaces - these are the themes I have been exploring through international, collaborative projects.
Five years ago, waiting for the 24 bus on Charing Cross Road, to take me to a meeting in Westminster City Hall, where I was commissioned as the Strategic Advisor / Lead artist for the West End team to help shape the redevelopment of Leicester Square as a 21st century social space - I was rewarded with the adrenalin rush of discovery. A proper bin stood yards away, and yet citizens had elected to deposit their empty food and drink packaging in the small, inconvenient base of the lamppost. This was the starting point for an ongoing series of photographs, film, dialogue and performance.
Litter is defined as ‘used or waste products’ that have been disposed of improperly, without consent, in an inappropriate location. Presented as social sculpture the act of littering reveals intuitive design, collaborative artforms, cultural commentary and the fundamental driving forces of fear, greed and sex.