The screaming abdabs

Hughes, D. 2003. The screaming abdabs.

CreatorsHughes, D.

‘The Screaming Abdabs’ was commissioned by The Showroom as part of their annual program of four exhibitions of newly commissioned work made by artists at a significant early stage in their career. It is a space that is recognized for its groundbreaking work with artists and has a significant track record of presenting the first solo shows in London by many now well known artists, and seems to define itself as a place where it is possible for artists to take risks and experiment with the development of their practice as many, including myself, have chosen to use the gallery as a laboratory for new ideas. The project takes the form of a short residency where innovative work can be supported by offering artists the time, space and funding to develop ideas on a site that is an environment free from commercial pressures.

As a title ‘The Screaming Abdabs’, a british expression for an attack of extreme anxiety, a state of agitation so extreme that that a person might struggle to find words, was a proposal for both a unified reading of the project as a whole and an indication of the contradictory nature of the objects and the erratic way in which they are installed. It consisted of independent works/constructions anchored by large scale site specific reactions to the idiosyncratic architecture of the gallery. And ranged in scale from portable representations of prosaic everyday objects, renderings from life as either replicas or cartoonish caricatures, to human-sized plaster casts of reductive torso and limb forms that served as a frozen tableau of dumb plinths.

Despite an intentional shift between abstraction and figuration, and similarly between readymade and handmade, isolated components are denied autonomy and are instead implicated in relationships to one another through further layers of ordering and display.

Web address (URL),hughes
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.

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

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