If you have at all heard of Walead Beshty, it is probably of his wittily damaged glass cubes shipped through international express mail, predominantly FedEx, e.g. FedEx Boxes (2008). Though not directly a comment on the nature of the shipping process nor a play on the aesthetics of minimalism, for Besthy these cubes document the object’s travel through space and ultimately these sculptures highlight and mimic the patented shape of the FedEx box. Most of all it is a reflection, like much of his oeuvre, on process and ontology; that is, considering the medium’s state of being or its nature as an object.
The artist as photographer
In fact it is far more interesting to consider Beshty as a photographer. Read his numerous writings and you find that he is very much concerned with the ontological status of his medium. Akin with his concerns for the patented cubic shape of the FedEx box, his interest in photography lies in what the process is capable of, rather than simply making images of the world.
Making evident the fact that photography is - in its simplest sense - light touching or being exposed to matter (e.g. paper), is what the English-born, LA-based artist seems to be working towards at The Curve gallery in the Barbican. He will be using the older method of cyanotype, commonly known as “blueprints”, where objects from his studio will be exposed by sunlight to surfaces coated with UV-sensitive material. Presented in chronological order and covering the entire gallery, the result will be a document of things and thus time passed in the artist’s studio. The rather convoluted title (A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All Over the Workbench) provides a rather cryptic invitation to enter into the poetic intricacies of the installation. But this will surely make for a work that is not only conceptually intriguing, but visually stunning. See what you make of it.
|What||Walead Beshty, The Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
09 Oct 14 – 08 Feb 15, 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here for more information via the Barbican's website|