Thinking back at work seen over the past few months obviously brings Frieze Art Fair back to mind and thinking about Paul Noble’s work in the Turner Prize 2012 exhibition has made me think about sculpture by someone who I mainly associate with two dimensional work, all of which brings me to Gillian Wearing. I’ve written about Wearing a couple of times on this blog (about her work with the confessions of others and the works for which she becomes other people) but I haven’t mentioned her sculpture, in the main because I find it less interesting, I think. Nonetheless, My Hand, shown at Frieze by Maureen Paley, has stayed in my thoughts for some reason and I now find myself wondering why I find this piece engaging.
Thinking about the fragmented body in Gary Hill‘s Inasmuch As It Is Always Already Taking Place made me think about the self portraiture of John Coplans who repeatedly photographed his own – aging – body for (almost) the last two decades of his life. Several things interest me about Coplans’s work. Firstly, there’s the way they don’t conform to expectations of the nude in art. As the Guerrilla Girls have established, the nude is generally female and in an increasingly youth-centred culture the ageing body isn’t often the subject of attention. Here the focus is on the ordinary.
Steven Pippin, Self-Portrait Made Using a House Converted into a Pinhole Camera, 1986
There are quicker and easier ways to take pictures. It’s not as though cameras aren’t readily available in shops. For Steven Pippin though, the process of making a picture usually starts with the process of making a camera. In itself that’s not so unusual. There are probably countless art teachers out there who have encouraged students to make pinhole cameras. Usually such undertakings begin with a box of some sort, often a biscuit tin. But that would be way too easy for Pippin.