press release

Throughout the summer, the museum will present an installation and series of photographs by Simon Starling in its large sculpture gallery. Starling's work focuses attention on the creative process by placing the production of art and practical implements in the context of economic and social processes of production. In many of his works, the quasi-uselessness of the artist’s manipulation of his materials (the act of charging them with artistic meaning) is directly linked to ‘useful’, economically meaningful processes. The installation Blue, Red, Yellow, Djungel investigates the functionality of the artistic process. The work consists of an enormous, hand-printed curtain – a replica of a famous 1928 design by Josef Frank – and all the materials that were needed to make the curtain, from the tree cut down in Trinidad on 22 March 2002 to the tables on which the work was done and the pots of dye used in printing the pattern. It seems obvious that the time-consuming process of making the replica has no economic utility. Starling seems to invite us to think about how much material and energy it is worth using to make art or anything else. The work Trinidad tree house is closely connected to Blue, Red, Yellow, Djungel. The photographs in this series show the construction of a log cabin using the timber from an unsuccessful attempt to replace rainforest with commercial silviculture. The cabin was built on the very site of the failed project.

Simon Starling - works from the collection