Locus+ 1993-1996

By Pauline van Mourik Broekman, 10 January 1997

Locus+ publishes its archive

If the word 'site-specific' makes your heart sink, if the word 'contextualisation' conjures up the spectre of obligatory text-handouts at the door, if you can't see another work proclaiming to analyse the museumisation of culture or, worse still, to have direct social relevance, you need to have a look at Locus+ 1993-1996. Leafing through this archive, which was published a few months ago, could well change your mind. Ostensibly a simple collection of works commissioned and facilitated by Locus+ over the past three years, the document acts as a more general statement of faith and intent. It gives the lie to unspoken assumptions that politically oriented art often lapses into didacticism or utilitarianism by re-examining the complexity of those terms aswell as showcasing some of the most sensitive and subtle public sited work this side of the 70s. Pictured above are two typical examples; Crash Subjectivity by Lloyd Gibson, an ambiguously gendered fibreglass figure which was exhibited in three different venues over time (All Saints Church, Newcastle, Carlisle Memorial Church, Belfast and the Dublin Institute of Technology) and Skeleton an installation by John Newling (again, in All Saints Church) in which he stacked the templates that are left over from the production of communion wafers opposite hymn books whose texts he altered so that only questions remained. Both examine the position different 'public' buildings hold within larger societal rituals and paradigms. It is interesting to note that, across the many projects showcased, religion, technology and medicine come in for some of the closest scrutiny. Structured by artists' statement and accompanying critical texts, the volume makes Locus+ stated aim to let the artist, rather than the museum, gallery or curator, take the intellectual lead within projects ring true in print.

Edited by Samantha Wilkinson. Published by: Locus+ E: locusplus AT T: 0191 233 1450 F: 0191 233 1451

Pauline van Mourik Broekman <pauline AT>