VINEspace is pleased to present this two-person show of work by Simon Morse and Kevin Wright. Simon Morse makes political capital with his hi-tech 'inventions' that deceive us into thinking we should be able to use them - even though we can't work out how. Kevin Wright’s pieces are mutations of useful man-made objects from everyday life. The urge is not to find a use for them, but to note the nature of their ‘dysfunction’ and modification. Both artists raise very different issues of ‘consumerism’ from the art viewer’s perspective.
Simon Morse’s digitally realised devices seem to both celebrate and mock the naivety and ignorance many of us have towards technology and the way it is presented to us. It is comforting to believe that ‘progress’ is an autonomous, developing force with a natural momentum that takes a rational, goal-orientated and problem-solving path for the good of us all. Product promotion on TV and in the media can shore up this belief for its own ends, as it appropriates the language of science to convince us to consume.
These devices initiate feelings of appreciation and respect - the way we may have perceived early calculators in the 70’s or the latest home video game today. They are clever, beautiful, marvellous gadgets and we would love to ‘have a go’ on them. At the same time they undermine. Function and use are a mystery. The buttons display symbols and abbreviations that we can only guess at. Doubts gather pace as we consider who uses these devices and why. There is a sinister and creeping suspicion that ‘Progress’ is actually value laden; shaped by and for a minority (politicians? business?)
Although convincing for a moment, these are digital prints, and it doesn’t take long for the satire to break surface, as this effortless combination of image and text creates pieces of work that have a dark, witty edge and are fun to savour.
Kevin Wright’s sculptures have an austere quality that references the production line of manufacturing processes. This is partly because his starting point is with inert, man-made objects that have been born of this process; baths, gun turrets, watering cans… are just a few examples and is partly because he applies what could be described as his very own personal methods of product design and manufacture in the studio.
Once an object has been chosen, its formal and spiritual integrity is scrutinised until decisions can be made about what to keep and what to reject. This notional dismantling and extraction leads to the physical re-making of the object as something different, yet strongly reminiscent of the ‘muse’ that inspired it.
It is as though objects that have been manufactured in the real world are then re-manufactured in the studio but with some other, more cerebral purpose in mind.
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