Saturday, 4 August 2012


Thanks to the Guardian series Olympics on Art  for this picture

Richard Wentworth gave up making sculpture for a while in the 1970s, thinking it had become 'as dry as broken biscuits'. Fortunately he changed his mind. This is the man who reminds us that an object has a beginning a middle and an end . You select it, use it - and walk away. Closure. But a work of art is unfathomable and you can interact with it forever. He takes the hundrum, the quotidian,and makes us think again. At a Tate study day he casually observed ' a plate is the only object where you get your own and the minute you have finished with it, it becomes someone else's' You can see a couple of examples of his witty and refreshing sculptures in Blog 77.

Recently he was on a camping holiday  - a habit of 30 years - and he took this photograph. My experience is that camping draws you into an intimate world where warmth and water, toilet blocks and torches become as life-enhancing as birdsong and sunsets and dew on the grass... Meanwhile world events happen on another planet. 

He was invited by friends to watch some Olympics. 'Catching sight of television in bars is the kind of glimpsing I enjoy – images, languages and 'events' all arbitrarily associated with time and displacement...The latch on this door will remind me of the warm domestic afternoon in early August 2012 when our friends invited us to watch London as a site of Olympic spectacle. An odd thing if you know the city well, but much stranger if you are camping a long way away.'

The photo is a tease. You want to rest your eye on the star, the scarlet-clad genius known as Bradley Wiggins, a man in a million, who may vanish from sight in a few precious seconds. But the  latch and the overbearing nails are closer and more familiar. I watched the Olympic opening ceremony at a party with friends and family. The amazing spectacle was accompanied by a domestic soundtrack of explosive remarks, laughter, whooshes of appreciation, scraps of music identified by the cognoscenti, apologies for tears...I cannot think of one without the other.    for a large selection of images of his work

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