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ART STUFF ON A TRAIN 6: PLANE SPECIAL! – HOW UNIQUE IS THAT?

Most days art Critic Paul Carey-Kent spends hours on the train, travelling between his home in Southampton and his day job in Surrey – but this week he flew to Paris en route to Basel. Could he, we asked, jot down whatever came into his head?

mccollum shapes

 Allan McCollum: ‘The Shapes Project’ installed at the JGM Gallery, Paris

Two interesting shows just reminded me that the line between one-off and multiple can get rather blurry. American artist Allan McCollum is known for collections of serially produced works which undermine the traditional criteria of rarity – and yet are subtly different from one another.

‘The Shapes Project’, on view at the JGM Gallery in Paris, pushes that to a new extreme, by setting up the computerised possibility of making 31 billion different possible shapes – that’s one for everyone who’s expected to be alive in 2050, the scheduled completion date for the project . A few dozen were on physical display: were they unique, or were they from a planet-sized edition? Back in London, ‘Run for Your Life’ is a 2013 remake of a work made, but not preserved, in 1993. Does that make it the new original? Whatever the answer, it’s a highlight of Michael Landy’s revelatory and affecting retrospective-through-drawing across Thomas Dane’s two spaces, which you could argue provides a more uniquely personal connection to some of his projects than the fabricated end product. Either way, I enjoyed it more than the National Gallery’s show of kinetic sculptures of the saints, 50% inoperative when I was there. There are no queues at Thomas Dane, and the only Break Down is a drawing related to Landy’s famous 2001 project of that name.

Landy

 

                                Michael Landy: ‘Run For Your Life’, 1993-2013

 

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