KINDNESS IS SO GANGSTER
6th October – 21st December 2018
Anna Schwartz Gallery
This most recent development in Mike Parr’s long standing ‘Self Portrait Project’ investigates the possibilities of glass as a sculptural medium. These works are the result of a tremendous, continuous performance of ‘blind negative modelling’, in which the artist’s physical sight is replaced by other senses. The notion of blindness is accentuated as the key, totalising dimension of the work, requiring the foregrounding of performance, the residue of which comprises part of the exhibition.
Twenty two ‘heads’ have been scooped, kneaded and formed in clay, hollowed out of dense blocks. The glass sculptures are blindly and randomly disposed, occupying the whole of the ground floor gallery space and are accompanied by a wall drawing, also done blind, in which the artist has attempted to draw, in repetition, the simplest of ovoid shapes as a net across a portion of the main wall. The drawing is in charcoal with the dust and broken elements left in situ.
The other senses – including memory as a kind of meta-sense – are substituted for that of seeing. In abstaining from seeing the positives produced during this demanding process, there is no return for Parr to his ‘educated’ response as a visual artist. The ‘blind dimension’ of this work carries a powerful, far-reaching metaphorical resonance in relation to Parr’s ‘Self Portrait Project’, representing the moment when the work is cast into the nameless void of collectivity and history.