Craig Mulholland, Grandes et Petites Machines

12 Apr 2008 – 25 May 2008

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00

Spike Island

Bristol, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 506 via Temple Meads
  • Bristol Temple Meads

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Craig Mulholland 'Grandes et Petites Machines'


Grandes Et Petites Machines
Craig Mulholland, Gallery One & Two
12th Apr 2008 - 25th May 2008

Grandes et Petites Machines: Craig Mulholland.

Spike Island presents the first major solo show in a public gallery by Glasgow based artist Craig Mulholland. Grandes et Petites Machines continues Mulholland's investigations into systems of social control and their technological manifestations. The exhibition, first staged at Sorcha Dallas and Glasgow School of Art, has been expanded and reconfigured in a specially curated show that responds to the epic scale of Spike Island?s galleries.

The title refers to the Grandes Machines of the French Salon, large-scale historical paintings depicting human struggle and violent revolution set against a crumbling state authority. In this contemporary update the artist creates a fantastical place in which art works wage war against each other and the lonely task of the Surveillance Operator is played out against a Futurist Opera.

Spanning across drawing, painting, sculpture and computer animation, Mulholland presents three new bodies of work: Paths of Resistance, Resistance Rising and Peer to Peer. Paths of Resistance is an installation which positions catapult-like tripods in dynamic opposition to intricately drilled aluminium drawings, as if presenting the outcome of a battle between pre and post-industrial machines. In Resistance Rising Mulholland animates these physical elements in an immersive fourscreen video work that appears to monitor all who enter the space through a projected sequence of blinking apertures and rotating camera angles.

The final element is Mulholland's new film, Peer to Peer, which sets the dystopian tale of a Surveillance Operator labouring futilely inside a Panopticon prison against a newly composed libretto. The work contains recurring motifs from both installations and stylistically references the deadpan visuals of Kraftwerk videos and the bombastic use of soundtrack in Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Grandes et Petites Machines operates as a total artwork that re-imagines and re-configures the contemporary moment. The seriousness of Mulholland's enquiry is balanced by absurdest tendencies which propose humour and irreverence as potential modes of resistance.

EVENT: Screening of Peer to Peer and Craig Mulholland in conversation with Susannah Thompson at the Cube Microplex Cinema, Bristol. Saturday 12 April 2.00pm

Peer to Peer is an Artists Film and Video production supported by the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.

Grandes Et Petites Machines is funded by kind support of The Henry Moore Foundation


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