University of Tasmania
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A sculptural problem: the measurement of being

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posted on 2023-05-26, 01:05 authored by Johnson, A
This visual thesis examined sculpture's capacity to operate as a mode of physical and perceptual measurement. It was conducted as an investigation into the relationships and points of intersection between space, object and action; chance and intent; temporality, transience and the 'moment of sculpture'. My proximity as the protagonist, relative to the work and situation, has been a factor in activating these relationships. The final submission comprises a broad range of media encompassing sculptural objects, photographs, video and spatial interventions reconsidered to responsively incorporate the Plimsoll Gallery space ‚Äö- as a readymade object in and of itself. Each of the works within this project declares a particular aspect of its specific sculptural condition through the relationship it engenders between material, form, context and the spatial conditions in which it is experienced. This inquiry has been investigated through a group of works developed reflexively for a series of exhibitions that occurred through the research period. The works were developed in response to the specific spatial, contextual or curatorial conditions of each of these exhibitions. This approach was intended to allow for relatively contingent methods to determine the form of the research. A number works within the project operate autonomously, such as the sculptural objects and photographs. However they contribute to the overall reflexive methodology, imbuing the combined installation with a spatial and elemental reference beyond the confines of the immediate architectural space. The exegesis contextualises my work, process and methodology in relation to specific works and strategies by John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Bruce Nauman and Sol Lewitt. Additional key references for the project are works by Ceal Floyer and Jorge Macchi ‚Äö- contemporary artists who operate within the legacy of Conceptual Art, yet seek to encompass a spatial, perceptual and experiential inquiry. This research explored the elasticity of sculpture and its potential to function as a conduit between the self, the object, and the context of a situation and space. The aim of this project was to affect and recalibrate the way a viewer measures their state of being through a sculpturally adjusted experience of the quotidian. In presenting counterpoints between the macro and micro, and the banal and poetic, the project sought to demonstrate ways in which the mundanity of everyday situations may be inverted to infer the contrary. Alluding to time and space, these works collectively demonstrate how moments of profundity can arise when seemingly banal, irrelevant or irrational predicaments are suspended and reframed as serendipitous sculptural moments. These moments, pursued absolutely and at times illogically, can connect us to the immediate and everyday and, equally, to the elemental states that make up our universal reality.


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