Anderson, Robert (2016) Cessation. [Artefact]


The output is an artefact, ‘Cessation (ground, column, obelisk and cube)’ comprising a series of objects: a sheet of polished marble, leaning, terrifying in its pristine mass, against a wall; a cube; and two taller, geometric figures. Research process: Anderson creates sculptures and installations that unfold from the starting point of historical source images. The resulting works become an arrangement that he describes as an ‘image index’ or ‘tableau’ that bring together elements from a range of cultural references such as modernism and classicism, and often suggest the absent body and the architecture of display. Anderson’s use of materials such as marble and velvet refer to the fleshy corporeality of a Roman sculpture of the flayed satyr Marsyas, and the funereal drapery of the catafalque structure that was used to support the casket of Abraham Lincoln, and has since been used to publicly present the dead bodies of some of the most distinguished US citizens. Research insights: The research investigates whether objects could ever say anything else; if they could ever exceed the signification that accompanies them as simple assemblages of material, hue, and scale. What is central is this unruly quality: how objects slip and slide, or remain fixed, resisting our advances; in short, how we can’t control them, not fully. Dissemination: The work was disseminated via exhibition as part of ‘Foreign Objects’, Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Derry, 6 August – 1 October 2016.

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