Thinking in Layers.
On the 9th of november Stephanie Mann and Lewis den Hertog presented their exhibition Siesta Pinwheel at the eca project space. Curated by these two fine arts students of edinburgh college of art the show featured works by nine other students, presented in the eight drawers of one of these archive cabinets that tend to grow lonely in old office buildings during the digitalised 21st century. In art colleges they don`t. Art colleges take care of things. Especially when you find them to be bulky, heavy-weight and slightly overaged.
The upper drawer showed photos by Calvin Laing. The second one a piece of neon-yellow fabric folded into the drawer by Stuart Barnes. The third drawer showed a work by Christina Alvarez that read the words Take your Time which were painstakingly carefully carved into an A3 piece of paper. The removed paper was collected in a small porcelain tin. The fourth drawer (Georgia Murray) contained an iPod Nano and a miniture speakerbox, playing birds twitter. Alica Bradshaw & Bob Milners drawer showed the printed mail exchange between the two artists and the curators illustrating the preparation for Siesta Pinwheel aswell as their ideas running off into sand because of the artists absence and an apparent lack of communication. One of the drawers (Patricia Martin-Sanches) showed a screenshot of the google images search for “siesta pinwheel”, another one appeared to be a fold-out zoetrope (Patric Hurst) and the last drawer (Page Benkowski) was filled with “dry ice” (solid carbon dioxide) that would sublimate when the artist watered it.
If there is such thing as a dramaturgy between the drawers than it is a natural one. One that is determined by the beholder through opening and closing the drawers in whatever consciously or subconsciously chosen order. What spacially appears as one upon the other turns to a coexisting and staggered in time side by side experience resulting in a certain ease in perception. The tranquility of perceiving each artwork by itself despite the visually, and in the case of the sound-installation, acoustically manifested omnipresence of the artworks entity seems to be a universal truth.
As a wonderfully silent backlash to the approach of the simultaneity of everything at every point Siesta Pinwheel manifests a thankworthy unsophisticated way of not overproducing dialogue. Unlike the unfortunately still ubiquitous seeming white cube, the artworks are not given the maximum of space and neutrality but an almost poetic narrative structure. Just like we might gain knowledge stage by stage, during different times and in different places, every new layer of ken that we acquire seems to be in inevitable consideration of the congeries of the whole.
Why the exhibition cycle is actually called Siesta Pinwheel remains a secret until at least the next show in February, say the curators. If we can expect an only related amount of ease and beauty in the presentation of artworks with likewise filigree and swayed thoughts behind them - I`m looking forward.