Thursday, 2 July 2009

Thinking Space. Sarah Sze, Baltic Centre of Contempoary Art, Newcastle.

Date Visited 01.07.09

Colour and form hit you when you walk into the exhibition space on the fourth floor of the Baltic, Newcastle and then the mass of objects. 'Ecosystems', cleverly constructed around the space, made up of everyday objects such as plants, floor lamps, tape measures, paper, wool plastic, burnt paper, pins...the small everyday objects we all take for granted. One can only say that the path that is taken around this installation is integral to each individuals experience. Playful manipulation of the space, lines of blue and red wool, pull taught from wall to wall, inhibiting viewing, the neon orange of an electric cable zips underneath, drawing the viewers eye to a spiral of colour in some far away point. The careful tracks one has to take in order not to stand on some miscellaneous object and then be stopped instantly as you are about to walk into something in front of you. Measurement tape on the floor. On first viewing this and the positioning of many other objects seems random, accidental but looking again means thinking again, seeing again. Nothing in this exhibition is random. Is it? Positioning is far too controlled but at the same time be planned out to the nth degree? Impossible. The exhibition space has been played with, experimented with. Like a studio it seems that Sze has used the space to experiment with her objects, play with her material, highlight the idiosyncrasies of this space, playing, placing, re-placing. A site of discovery, which can only come from knowing a space, thinking space.
Tension. In movement of the viewer and in objects. A craft knife positioned in front of a fine line of elastic. On tenterhooks.
Part object, part sculpture? Sculptural/structural? Not dream like but made real by those objects that are apart of all our lives. The material asks no questions. And that's fine. There is always that want to know. Why the artist has chosen that material, how and why does the material perform. But it doesn't have to. Because once we know theres a tendency to have cracked it! We understand now! It is all clear and makes more sense! The haze has cleared!
But not this time. I don't want to know, I want the constant fuzz, I am happy to walk away from this exhibition and just marvel in the beauty of our every day objects.