GIANT, a brand-new artist-run space in Bournemouth, launches with its inaugural exhibition: CRASH. Dedicated to presenting challenging works by seminal international contemporary artists, GIANT is established by globally-renowned visual artist and curator Stuart Semple. It will play host to some of the world’s most respected contemporary artists, bringing many to Bournemouth for the first time. CRASH will run at GIANT from 1 March to 30 April 2021. *
CRASH, featuring work by artists including Ron Arad, Cory Arcangel, Paola Ciarska, Sarah Maple, Mark McGowan and Mark Titchner, centres around the “crash” that both society and culture have recently experienced. Themes of technology run throughout. Our reliance on devices during lockdown for work or staying connected is reflected, as well as how easily a digital crash can disrupt day-to-day life. The exhibition is an opportunity to look back at the moment after impact – the crash experienced as a result of the pandemic. This carefully curated exhibition opens up to a range of explorations, presenting different perspectives and different aspects of how the pandemic has affected our daily lives.
Visual artist Sarah Maple’s recent works have included her very own six-part sitcom for Sky Arts and a screening of her film “Freedom of Speech” at Tate Britain. For CRASH, her iconic sculpture “The World as We Know It” will be positioned on the high street outside the gallery space, a reminder of the initial impact of the pandemic – the end of the world we all knew, before everything changed.
The work of Turner Prize-nominee Mark Titchner focuses on the use of words and language, which has been crucial in a reality of social distancing, self-isolation and virtual communications. Titchner’s “Please Believe These Days Will Pass” will be displayed on a large billboard outside of the gallery space, to mirror messages of hope seen throughout the initial lockdown.
Post-conceptual artist Cory Arcangel – the youngest ever artist to receive a whole floor at New York’s Whitney Museum – is perhaps best known for his video game modifications. His video installation piece “Totally F•••ed” features a glitching Nintendo Mario stranded on a solitary block, an emblem of a technologically enhanced isolation and a nation-wide sense of uncertainty after the “crash.”
Influential conceptual designer, architect and artist Ron Arad is showing a series of works including his video piece “Crushed Fiat 500.” While Arad states that the work is taking something functional and rendering it useless, it is far from destructive – he sees the crush as immortalizing the object in a new timeless form. Also included are several of Arad’s ‘sticks and stones sculptures’, part of his seminal performance from 1987 at the Centre Pompidou, in which he built a machine to crush high-design furniture into new sculptural forms. One of Arad’s ‘flatmates,’ in which a Duchampian style bottle rack has been crushed to resemble a hedgehog, also features.
Performance artist Mark McGowan (aka the artist taxi driver) presents a series of his politically charged paintings on daily newspapers that speak to the public criticism of government during the pandemic, alongside a new piece of video work demonstrating how public perception was divided by politics and news broadcasts. A series of three of Paola Ciarska’s incredibly detailed miniature paintings “Life and the Pursuit of Pleasure” explore how the interior spaces of our homes became where we spent the majority of our time, and how we began to function within them.
CRASH at GIANT from 1st March to 30th April 2021. * www.giant.space
* Launching in ‘safe mode’ and in-keeping with government guidelines, the exhibition will initially be viewable from Bournemouth High Street, with some artwork also installed outside the building. As soon as government guidelines allow, the exhibition will be opened in full.