6 - PhD research 'catalogue components'
A body of speculative studio enquiry arising out of PhD research entitled ‘Pragmatics of Attachment: Medium (Un)specificity as Material Agency in Contemporary Art’, prompted a considerable change in methodological approach. A key development was to shift the agenda of the practice and research from one that was largely dictated by the legacies of modernist abstraction and the ‘objecthood’ of minimalist painting and sculpture, to one that drew its reference from textile’s quotidien object conventions and contexts within material culture. A further strategic initiative was to move from a method of production where the outcome is clearly defined to one where the outcome is much more provisional. This new strategy of making is manifest through the creation of a quasi-taxonomy of ‘thingly’ sculptural components which can be variously configured and reconfigured within a series of staged mises-en-scène. Employing an expanded palette of materials and processes, the aim is to mobilise a constellation of somatic and semantic resonances whilst at the same time maintaining a level of formal aesthetic autonomy and enigmatic ambiguity. Informed by interior styling, the aesthetic staging of the everyday within retail display and the everyday functional environment from which they derived their initial influence, these components were eventually documented in the form of a four-metre long concertina-style quasi retail catalogue.