Project Space: Luke McCreadie

Be in the air, but not be air, be in the no air

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New work by Luke McCreadie. Expanding on his interest in a loss of verbal language, McCreadie’s commission stems from an investigation into the process of translation that takes place when the form and structure of language morphs from immaterial and verbal, into sculptural and material existence.

The installation is comprised of three elements: a series of wall-mounted ceramic shelf sculptures; a large hanging mobile; and a new film work.

In the wall mounted ceramic sculptures, McCreadie revisits his longstanding interest in art history and modes of display. Here, the division between gallery furniture and art object are confused. The shelved objects are references to well known, almost ubiquitous, motifs from art history, including Constantin Brancusi’s Bird In Space (1923) and Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (1917). In selecting them, and rendering such objects indistinguishable from the shelves and words, McCreadie addresses the readings, narratives and institutions that come to surround art objects.

The hanging mobile similarly takes its point of departure from a particular moment in art history. McCreadie utilizes the shapes and colours of Modernist sculpture alongside recognisable symbols often used in notes and diagrams. The arrows, ellipses and stars neither point to, nor mark, anything. In this 3D sketch, stripped of all content, the symbols ordinarily used to highlight or aid understanding endlessly rotate, suggesting a sense of contingency and lack of stability.

McCreadie’s fragmentary film, follows a group of characters who wear 12 inch vinyl records as masks and communicate only in music. Partly inspired by the song Free Will and Testament by Robert Wyatt, from which the exhibition takes its title, the film illustrates an imagined moment where communication is entirely musical. The characters embark upon a pilgrimage to an old and obscure library. This library has no system of order, no catalogue or index. Instead, it simply contains piles of dangerously stacked books and notes. Here, as with the works above, McCreadie is set on questioning how an order is given to a mass of historical material. There is a tension between the part and the whole, the known and the unknown, the ordered and chaotic, the word or sound and the image, which is central to all the works on display

Project Space provides exhibition and development opportunities to emerging artists offering a small grant to develop new experimental work for exhibition in the unique environment of Café 171 at Jerwood Space, adjacent to the galleries. Since 2004 it has presented new work from artists including Alice May Williams, Paul Schneider, Rhys Coren, Anna Bunting-Branch, Emma Charles, Alec Kronacker, Meg Mosley, Sara Nunes Fernandes, Johann Arens, Matthew Johnstone, Katie Schwab and Jamie George, Ben Senior, Ralph Dorey, Mindy Lee, Patrick Coyle, Gemma Anderson, Annabel Tilley, Alice Browne, and Holly Antrum.

Installation view- Luke McCreadie, Be in the air, but not be air, be in the no air, 2015. Image: Anna Arca