My Practice by Jodie Rice
Allured by the fascination of everyday objects and their relationship with the viewer, my practice has evolved to challenge functionality; reinventing forms of furniture to encourage a new perspective and experience for the viewer. Subsequently my work provokes questions such as are there any boundaries to combining design and to what extent the gallery influences the viewer’s decision to whether the work can be classed as fine Art?
My inspiration evolved through theoretically echoing The New Décor exhibition displayed at the Hayward Gallery in 2010; Director Ralph Rugoff gathered a group of contemporary artists to collaboratively aim to twist and subvert conventions of interior space, reinventing and adapting the familiar everyday objects in our lives to encourage a new perspective and experience. Specifically the word décor in French refers to stage sets as well as interior design, in which subsequently the exhibition itself seemingly amuses the staging between theatre and everyday life, suggesting Rugoff fragments the idea of theatrically analysing the relationship between the art and the viewer. In justification he suggests:
‘While these sculptures evoke commonplace objects, they do so only to disarm our customary intimacy with them. […] a crucial benefit of our encounters with art, and integral to its capacity for displaying our readymade ways of relating to the world around us.’ (Rugoff, 2010, p.11)
In this sense the gallery becomes an abstracted space in which the positioning of the sculptures captivates the characteristics of props. The sculptures de-familiarise the props of our everyday interiors, manipulating conventional roles of furniture that is comforting and sturdy; to an object of dysfunction, which is perplexed, precarious and unstable. This de-familiarisation is uncanny to the viewer, and directly stresses the importance of the encouraged new perspective and experience. This is an idea also artist Marcel Duchamp considered:
‘The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.’ (Duchamp, 1957)
In this sense it becomes a collaborative work between viewer and artist, a performance in capturing a new perspective and experience which questions the boundaries to what extent design can be classed as fine art.
In which I feel my concept can be carried out by another artist just like the viewer is always changing and effectively No Working Title becomes a collaboration work between viewer and artist as two exchange instructions.
Duchamp, Marcel. (April 1957) Session on the Creative Act: Recorded live at the Convention of the American Federation of Arts. (Houston, Texas)
Rugoff, Ralph (2010). The New Decor. (London, Southbank Centre: Hayward Publishing).
With consideration to my practice in exploring the combination of art and design, I ask my partnering artist Lucia Schmidt to create and produce a reinvention of a furniture form, challenging the functionality of the original object to encourage a new perspective and experience for the viewer. It can be constructed from scratch into the form of furniture, be a found furniture object to start with, or possible even a combination of found objects. I leave this open for the artist as I have been exploring different methods for approaching the idea; I’ve given some artist references which explore similar ideas in their work some which approach art through design and some artists combining design. In this context the ideology of what constitutes a designer from an artist is integrated into one, and therefore there is the idea that the gallery has become a platform to question the nature of their practice as well as question the boundaries to whether design can be seen as fine Art.
One restriction however is that I ask my partnering artist Lucia to be aware that the work will have to be of a scale capable to get to and from Camden Arts Centre (e.g. Train journeys, bus journeys, walking etc…).