I am interested in the constantly evolving hierarchies of objects, styles, cultural worth and the politics of value. My works engages in dialogues about display and value alongside narratives of possession, ownership and desire. My work seeks to respond to these narratives mainly through constructed spaces using models, plans, miniature dioramas, and computer-generated virtual interiors.

 

In both private and public spaces, display functions to denote hierarchy and worth. From the private universe of the collector, to contemporary examples of the concept of Gesamtkuntwerk, my work experiments with these constantly evolving hierarchies of objects, and the way in which objects, artefacts and art are commodified and fetishised.

 

I am particularly concerned with the way in which objects are represented in fragmentary ways, removed from their original context through classification systems, digital reproduction, appropriation, miniaturisation and displacement. Related themes include the idea of value and authenticity; copies, and reproduction; cross pollination of modernist art and decorative forms; the role of collecting (both private and institutional), and the tools of display including the plinth, framing, and the gallery itself.

 

Much of my early work was concerned with the idea of authenticity and representation. These works presented models of display including the plinth, the plaster cast and the miniature as a way to call into question the role of imitation and engender a dialogue about the way in which substitution effects narrative as well as concepts of value and authenticity. These themes were later expanded through a series of virtual rooms that included reconstructions of interiors that no longer exist and collections that have long since been dispersed. These simulacrums of lost and idealised worlds investigated both the artificiality of value and served as a retort to the artificiality of narratives told in the context of display whilst also questioning cultural value in a digital world. My recent work approaches the idea of genre: e.g. the decorative arts versus fine arts, and the way in which these categories merge in artistic practice. Interiors and objects are decorated with fragments of modern masterworks reflecting the removal of the paintings from the formal signifier of fine art (the frame) and the adsorption and transformation of fine art into consumables. These borrowings symbolise the way in which even iconic artworks have become removed from their maker, cultural context and seemingly transformed into simply building materials.
 

 

 

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© Keith Turner