Mike Parr

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.


Mike Parr