I have started writing for the excellent and visually punchy magazine ELEPHANT. You can see material from my picture essay on COMEDY for Issue 33 below, including some unpublished material - you always need the odd reserve for such items. The new print Elephant 34 has just come out, featuring my picture essay on the issue's theme of SEX. And you can see my choice for Elephant of what to see in Brussels here.
|Daniel Firman's elephant balancing on its trunk was a bit too obvious for the comedy article, though the horizontal wall-sucking version is less well-known... (Nasutamanus, various versions since 2008)|
ELEPHANT: COMEDY Issue 33
Martin Creed: Work No. 2814, 2017
China’s leading new media artist, Cao Fei, set domestic vacuum cleaning robots free to roam a building site on the fringes of Beijing on which – as is the Chinese rule - the structure of the past was being pulled down. The bots come across as alien and threatening yet friendly and comical. Sometimes chickens stand on them to hitch a ride. Evidently, and metaphorically, their ‘cleaning’ task is hopeless: there’s no reversing the rolling cycles of urbanisation. In front of the film, to stress the point, three bots acted out their edge-sensitive dance on top of the traditional form of plinths.
James Hopkins: Scaled Ladder, 2014 - Wood and Stone
James Hopkins presents an implausible object, its spindly wooden slats bearing heavy rock to no apparent purpose. We’re tempted to seek a logic. Have the small rocks risen because they weigh less? It can’t be that, their density’s the same. Is it that the relative mass of a mountain as you climb it is echoed by the stones’ sizes as we imagine ascending the ladder? Meantime, the title puns on 'scale' as the act of climbing a summit, a fundamental concept of sculpture, and a reference to the diminishing size of the stones – and that brings out the resemblance to an abacus.