A MONTH OF MAKING | MARK LECKEY
On a green screen, typically used in film recording to be able to digitally recreate settings or places, the artist Mark Leckey arranges a series of objects, each of which has a plate with the caption. Some arranged on the ground, others on shelves, are characterized from the outset by their hybrid nature, between the work of art, the museum relic and the object found in some flea market. The phallic sculpture, a clear reference to A Clockwork Orange which with this object in turn refers to the work Princess X by Constantin Brancusi, is placed between a television on which Leckey plays one of his previous videos and 3D reproductions of ancient sculptures of Aztec gods. A little further back, Cinderella’s crystal shoe is painted completely black. A Month of Making (2014) is defined right from the start, in a clear and almost threatening way, as a delirious stratification of references, quotations, insights, associations. Leckey explodes his visual world without any fear of overwhelming the observer, indeed with the intention of transporting him to a dimension still under construction and of which to show the wonders, between past, present and future.
And it is precisely on this idea of infinite work in progress that the work, defined by the artist himself as a “touring exhibition”, is built and continues to grow, invading different languages and fields of investigation. The heart of the research is the representation of human visual culture, which here rather than being investigated with an analytical approach is approached with an attitude closer to that of a lover towards the desired woman. Leckey’s project, which has been ongoing for many years now, focuses precisely on the archive of knowledge and the different expressions of the human being without precise limitations: a wunderkammer made up of the frenetic and thoughtless accumulation of objects. The meeting point? The greedy exploration of our culture which, in the artist’s research, is configured as an obsession with the relationship between image and object, between reality and its representation.
“I don’t want to look at things, I want to be in them.”
The anarchic madness that characterizes A Month of Making is the technique with which Mark Leckey plunges us, as if trapped in a vortex, into his imagination and his creative process. The environmental work is thus defined as an eternally ongoing process, which has no beginning and which cannot have an end but which seeks to contain within it the universality of human thought and expression, including a search about the object and its digital image. The artist’s ambitious exhibition project also blurs the boundaries between the role of the artist and that of the curator: choosing not to exhibit only personal works but drawing from a pool that seems to be infinite (and which also indirectly speaks to us of the trend of digital man to get lost in the endless searches of the web) for works, machines, objects, sculptures, finds, Leckey breaks any hierarchy, any definition and demarcation. A Month of Making is a place of free experimentation of the mind, for the artist as well as for the spectator who has no choice but to let himself be enchanted by the audacious combinations and schizophrenic connections that define this work and which characterize its peculiar and unique indemnity.
A Month of Making, 2014
Video and various objects
Installation view, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York © courtesy Gavin Brown and the artist