Foreground: Brian Griffiths - The Kidd
Date uploaded: September 17, 2012
Foreground: Brian Griffiths - The Kidd
22nd September – 28th October 2012
Launch: 3-5pm, Saturday 22nd September 2012
A coil of rope emerges from a hole in the building’s wall and spills onto the floor. On its end there is a cleat. What it is supposed to attach to is unknown, but the other end is connected to the centre of the world…
Brian Griffiths makes installations that are populated with sculptures assembled from familiar found objects. These everyday materials are manipulated, reconstructed and re-imagined into fantastical machines, carnivalesque characters and environments.
This transformative process presents a potential escape for the object from its prescribed role, offering the promise of new functions and the entry point into unravelling fictions.
Griffiths’ new site-specific commission for Foreground has been created especially for the recently vacated Frome Amateur Boxing Club. Tucked away in a small alley within the centre of Frome, the boxing club is a modest piece of vernacular architecture – a single storey wooden building of simple construction. The building is both physically hidden from the general public by its location but has also been an almost private space for decades, known and used only by club members.
Griffiths’ new installation will reveal this space to a public audience for the first time. In Griffiths’ hands the history of the Frome Amateur Boxing Club becomes just one narrative amongst many potential narratives at play within the building, all of which may be equally believable or equally doubtful. The building will become a space of potential – a space to exercise possibilities without fixed goals, where the art object is dragged into the same focus as its container and the world, producing a tension between building and contents, fact and fiction, now and then – a tension that seems to hold the faded and failing building together as much as the building seems to contain the objects and stories that are packed within it.
The Kidd - a name written on an old military kit bag from World War II which finds itself part of a cast of utilitarian objects used to create a fiction. A nickname written rather quickly and charmingly in pen. The Kidd – the name for heroes and anti-heroes from different times and places – Captain Kidd, the infamous Scottish pirate; Billy the Kid, the legendary American gunslinger; Eddie Kidd, the British motorcycle stunt rider. The Kidd – the embodiment of youth, of ambition, of showmanship. The Kidd - an absent protagonist that becomes a dynamo for wide-eyed dreaming, for innocent ideas of community, for an account of an inexperienced individual in an unfathomably large and complicated world.
Griffiths’ installations state their artificiality up front. They make the viewer aware of their important walk-on part within a hopeful restaging of the world, one that nods to Jacques Demy’s repainting of Cherbourg as a set for his classic musical The Umberllas of Cherbourg or to Powell and Pressburger’s tumbling cosmological perspective from the opening sequences of A Matter of Life and Death. These are constructions aware of their theatricality and their obviously limited ability to fully transport the viewer anywhere, but ones that are infused with a melancholy desire because of this.
Exhibition open 12-6pm, Friday – Sunday or by appointment for group visits.
For details of transport to Frome and accommodation in the town please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for recommendations.
Based in Frome, Somerset, Foreground commissions contemporary visual art projects that explore the relationship between art and its diverse settings and publics. Foreground aims to develop new, socially diverse audiences for critically engaged contemporary art in the South West of England. Please see www.foregroundprojects.org.uk for details of past projects.
About Brian Griffiths
Brain Griffiths was born in 1968 in Stratford-Upon-Avon and was educated at the University of Humberside and Goldsmiths College, London. Recent major projects include On: A re-imagining of the Blackpool Illuminations, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet, Hayward Touring Exhibition, touring nationally 2010/11; Rude Britannia, Tate Britain, London, 2010; The Only Living, Greenland Street, A Foundation, Liverpool, 2007; Life is a Laugh, Platform for Art Commission, London , 2007 and Beneath the Stride of Giants, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2004.
His monograph Brian Griffiths,Crummy Love, was published by Koenig Books, 2011.
Brian Griffiths is represented by Vilma Gold, London.
Brian Griffiths The Kidd has been funded by The Arts Council England, The Elephant Trust and The Henry Moore Foundation.