Bronze pebbles, stationary mobile, black towers

Hughes, D. 2003. Bronze pebbles, stationary mobile, black towers. Kettle's Yard, Cambridge 08 Nov 2003 - 11 Jan 2004

CreatorsHughes, D.

The various art works were assembled for exhibition with Sigmund Freud’s famous essay ‘Das Unheimliche’ (1919), in mind. Often referred to as ‘The Uncanny’, ‘Das Unheimliche’ actually translates into English as ‘The Unhomely’, and the essay identifies "the familiar, tame, intimate, friendly, etc." that can somehow excite "fear in general". The exhibition was made in response to the permanent collection at Kettle’s Yard, the former home of collector Jim Ede and could in some ways be seen as a corrupted version of his home and collection, with works variously reflecting the forms and ideas of thing permanently on display in the house. Furnishings, fixtures and fittings are made to appear, in different ways, inexplicable, uncomfortable or supernatural.

The three works included had been selected because they incorporated, or were crafted approximations of, familiar everyday objects which either as a result of the impoverished materials or the improvised nature of the making always seem to feel ‘wrong’. The work seems to be the result of some sort of inevitable logic with the outcome being a result of convenience rather than design. In the case of the ‘Stationary Mobile’ sellotape is a versatile and self sufficient material for modeling something transparent like a chandelier, especially when there is so much other ‘crystal’ stationary around, but the limitations of the material result in an abomination. There seems to be a something reassuringly familiar about using a bottle as the base for a lamp or candle, but in the case of ‘Black Towers’ the bottles are black and as result the lumpy hand made shades attached to the top are also, so denying it any conventional use. Because both materials and the minimal amount of construction involved in each work is so domestic and harmless it is through repetition or exaggeration that they begin to generate the unease or 'fear in general' described in the essay.

Publication dates
Output mediaExhibition catalogue

Related outputs

Pebbles (2002)
Hughes, D. 2005. Pebbles (2002). Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich, UK 01 Jul - 25 Sep 2005

Hughes, D. 2005. Boneless.

The screaming abdabs
Hughes, D. 2003. The screaming abdabs.

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