This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

boxes and penguins

I loved the ordinary reviews of Rachel Whiteread's white cardboard boxes here. Check out the popular culture link with the March of the Penguins which is a suprise box office hit.
What I really like about these comments is they domestrate how space is culturally constructed.
To some children, the white blocks looked like boxes of baby penguins.
To other people they represented:
Memories, space, emptiness, family, landscape, order, chaos - its all there for me.

So the shape of the boxes is not just about its shape, its what that shape represents to people.


JP said...

Great installation - worth seeing if you have half an hour on the south bank.

Captain JP has posted about this on his blog!

david gilbert said...

I wonder what Whiteread's work actually is ... sculpture, installation, architecture ..? Worth reading the classic Rosalind Krauss essay ‘Sculpture in the Expanded Field’ (1978), the term ‘sculpture’, she says, had become almost meaningless by the late 1970's because the range of practices it described was so disparate (Nam June Paik's installation, Chris Burden/EAT's performance, Robert Smithson's land art ...) She traces the decline of sculpture as representational public monument, through Rodin's 'subjective', expressive work, to the abstraction of early Modernist sculpture, neither representational nor expressive. She proposes that sculpture is at the junction between ‘not-landscape’ and ‘not-architecture’. So there you are Rachel, in a space which is defined by the edges of other spaces. Interesting that in terms of the public's reception of sculpture there is still a tendency to describe in relation to one's own body, as of course sculpture is interactive and we experience it by moving around or through it.

Kate said...

This is very interesting and gives me ideas for the work with museums...