It takes a great deal of time and thought to install work carefully. This should not always be thrown away... Otherwise art is only show and monkey business.
Developed by an artist with significant experience as a technician, the research explores the insights that inform the work of technicians, using related theoretical concepts which map the conditions particular to the processes of installation: that of exhibits being subject to a binary condition, termed ‘proper/improper’, and the concept of ‘tacit knowing’, developed by Michael Polyani (1966) as an index of specialist embedded understanding. Both ‘proper/improper’ and ‘tacit knowing’ are concealed by the sense of ‘effortlessness’ that makes displayed objects part of an immutable fabric of exhibition culture. This is, in turn, compounded by the photographic ‘installation shot’, a form of documentation that, for commentators such as the writer and artist Brian O’Doherty (1976), creates idealized images of artworks.
In order to penetrate the idealized surface of the ‘installation shot’, the research journeys from the visual to the aural in order to open up the ‘sensual culture’ (Howes, 2005) around ‘installation’. Although not directly setting-out to respond to Staniszewski’s proposition, the experiments with sound practice offer a creative response to our amnesia and an unfolding re-presentation of the processes and conditions of exhibition as it is currently experienced throughout museum and gallery culture.
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All images ©Andrew McNiven