Rook & Raven is proud to present its inaugural exhibition of 2015, Bigger Than The Both of Us, a solo exhibition by acclaimed artist Corinne Felgate. The exhibition is comprised of two new major installations, Bigger than the Both of Us (MOMA) and Studio X Y Z, that draw on the artist’s on-going research into our collective relationship with the man-made environment, and how society’s perception of the manufacturing industry shapes our understanding of what it is to exist in the world today.
In the age of 3D printers, DIY culture, and highly evolved robotic mass production systems, in conjunction with that of the craft movement knitting circle revival our perception, and interaction with the act of ‘making’ is shifting dramatically. Objects are produced within these fields with vast discrepancies in both cost and labour, yet often, with little physical disparity.
Bigger than the Both of Us (MOMA) aims to test and debase both the seductive properties and value of material things, whilst also paying homage to them. In doing so this tells us more about who we are and what it is to function in the world at a time when the clusterfuck esthetic prevails in both the digital and physical worlds, and within contemporary art and consumer cultures alike.
Initially installed at the Florence Trust as a site-specific work, Bigger Than The Both of Us culminated after a year-long residency where the complete collection off 77 works on board were housed on an 8 meter high, 6 meter wide, alter-like structure at the front of the church. Felgate’s new site–specific installation at Rook & Raven, Bigger Than The Both of Us (MOMA), a continuation of her previous commission, will see Felgate re-create the Mondrian room at MOMA, creating a new critical discourse.
David Barratt (Art Monthly) describes ‘Corinne Felgate has produced, in glitter a life-size copy of every one of Piet Mondrian’s geometric compositions, as if the famously ascetic Dutch modernist master had created a diffusion line for Top Shop. As an artist who responded to early industrialisation, Mondrian now finds himself processed through the accelerated consumerism of disposable fashion, his oeuvre of studio paintings transformed into something from the home of disco , New York’s Studio 54 nightclub.’
Both Bigger than the Both of Us (MOMA) and Studio X Y Z draw on the phenomenon of China’s artists’ villages where many of the artist’s spend a life time mass-producing just one work. The artist expands, ‘some years ago I heard an interview with an artist who works at the Dafen Oil painting village, in China. He only re-produces The Scream, working out of his kitchen at home producing 7 a day, all day, everyday… All I kept thinking was if I did had £73.9 million to buy the original, I would rather have 73 million hand painted replicas of Munch’s classic. You’d have to build a museum just to house the knock-offs. I then became obsessed with the power and also audacity of the act of replicating an artist’s entire body of work, and how it could be possible to appropriate perhaps the most appropriated artist of all time…’
STUDIO X Y Z is a performance installation that exposes a fabrication process that is as meticulous as it is ludicrous. Displaying for the audience the fabrication of the works, it illustrates how the final works are in fact, in many ways, simply a documentation of a performance, an archive of a period of domestic or cottage industry.
The pseudo-factory, come-studio, come-sweatshop, is manned by a cohort of utilitarian-uniform clad women making new works for the collection. In doing so they demonstrate the way the artist works with international collections to source the highest resolution images of the works possible, which are then printed to scale, precisely measured and reproduced in glitter.
Corinne Felgate’s practice examines our relationship to luxury, power, failure, sexuality and industry through the exploration of everyday objects. Recently her research has focused specifically on our cultural and physiological relationship to making & industry in the digital age and has involved the rekindling or reworking preindustrial processes, and setting up low-fi production systems.
Born in 1984 in the UK, Corinne first studied Linguistics at University College London, before studying at The Slade and later completing an MA in Sculpture at Wimbledon College of Art in 2008. Numerous organisations including ArtsAdmin; Tate Modern, Maison de la Culture, Amiens; The National Gallery and The British Ceramics Biennial have commissioned her work. She has also exhibited and performed with institutions including David Roberts Art Foundation (London) Oriel Sycharth (Wales), Palazzo Grassi (Italy) and Inhotim (Brazil). Her work is in numerous private and public collections including that of acclaimed artist Yinka Shonibar.