Writings and Proposals

Windows | Outside In
Proposals for the Kendal Windows On Art Exhibition, 2004

I wish to propose several alternative ideas as my possible contribution to the "Kendal Windows On Art" exhibition, 2004. Realising any of these ideas will be dependent on several factors, which will be determined by the availability of specific spaces/venues/shops and the concerns, requirements, sympathies and sensibilities of the shop owner(s) or manager(s). I suspect that in all cases I would benefit from some help in the form of a diplomatic go-between! These ideas are listed in order of my preferences however as long as I'm given enough preparation time, I'd be happy to pursue any of them.

a) A Charity Shop or all Charity Shops in Kendal (five or six I think?)
From the extant items in the shop(s), I propose to collect multiples of one item which will, when placed in the appropriate context, become both sculpturally strong, metaphorically loaded and hopefully politically significant in a non-propagandist way. For instance, given the concerns of Oxfam, blankets may be piled in high columns to the height of the window, filling the window or bundled into tight bales to be hung in the window. One symbolic object of fragility and innocence, such as an egg or many eggs would complement these. Other options might be to collect objects from the shop(s) and arrange them to either fill a window, leaving only a small viewing opening (or many openings) to the shop within or in a sculptural form. Alternatively, on a series of shelves filling a window, line up a systematic display of old suitcases, which are stuffed full, each with multiples of one item. (Items to be determined). Or, using two suitcases per window, fill one to bursting point with multiples of one metaphorically significant item and in the other place one object that suggests either a questioning of our approach to giving and care or that portrays an optimistic message of hope achieved through the act of giving.

Multiples of common goods would also allow the shop(s) to continue trading without fear of limiting their stocks. It might also be a good idea to persuade the shop(s) to advertise to its customers for specific items, such as blankets or forks or spectacles, that I might require, through small, discreet in-store posters or flyers. How I proceed will ultimately be dictated by the nature of the available objects or items.

b) Hadwin's or similar audio and TV/Video Shop or department store which stocks and sells audio and TV/Video equipment, (or any shop depending on accessing the necessary equipment).
Using several TV monitors and VCR players displayed in a specific configuration (to be determined) in a window or windows, create a series of new video works which will show images of natural processes in flux, i.e. rivers and currents turning and twisting; smoke, representing air, folding and unfolding as it plumes, etc. All films to be shot in extreme close up and shown in extreme slow motion. Colours within each will be treated using film-editing technology to create highly saturated colours. Alternatively, present films of faces, head on, turning and in profile, opening and closing eyes in extreme slow motion. As with sound, the act of slowing down images so that they move at an almost imperceptible rate has the effect of magnifying minute details and changes that are normally missed when played at today's hyper-speed. Showing images of natural processes or ordinary yet unique faces at such slow speeds encourages us to look at the world more closely and to pay attention to the beautiful subtleties and nuances of the everyday.

c) Beales of Kendal or similar department store.
Create a new five to eight minutes soundwork to be played through the store's PA system five minutes before the store is due to close at the end of each business day, thereby giving customers warning of imminent closure. Ideally the piece will be non-intrusive, calming and beautiful. Hopefully it will be psychologically seductive, the aim being encourage the shoppers to return, often.










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