Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Making a mark

British artist Mark Wallinger’s current exhibition brought to mind not just one but two New Zealand artists. It was Wallinger who made the memorable Threshold to the kingdom– a dreamy slowmo single camera view of people emerging from the customs hall at an airport to be greeted by friends and family – and he is also big-horse-guy as regular OTN readers will recall.

In his exhibition at Carlier Gebauer in Berlin, Wallinger organised an array of 100 distinctive chairs and tied them to a single vanishing point with strings attached to their backs. It brought to mind the contentious chaos/order/chaos of the et al./Sean Curham collaboration one-to-many and many-to-one in Auckland. Wallinger’s chairs could not be moved around and he exerted further control by labeling each chair with his name, again in distinct contrast to the struggle over the right words on the chair backs in Auckland. The title of the Wallinger work also declared his authority: According to Mark.

In another Wallinger work, Word, the artist filled a wall with text from The Oxford book of English verse 1250-1918 with all the punctuation and line breaks removed. No prizes for guessing what that reminded us of.
Image: Mark Wallinger's According to Mark (details)