Simon Glaister: Push Over
13 August 2009 - 4 September 2009
Simon Glaister is a recent AUT graduate with a radical and conceptually driven sculptural practice. For his upcoming show at ST PAUL St he has conceived an exhibition which uses one of the galleries’ features, the central pillar in Gallery One, as its point of departure. A structural replica of the column has been built and exposed to incrementally increasing simulated seismic action until failure. The failed column will be exhibited in the gallery next to the intact original that continues to support the gallery ceiling and Visual Arts Department above.
In spite of the 8.5T concrete pillar that sits at the heart of both the show and gallery, this project is as much action as object. It discusses the problem of site-specificity, as it derives much of its form and content directly from exhibition space but goes far beyond the narrow boundaries of what usually is encompassed by that notion. Simon describes the work as “a kind of historical short circuit, presenting a piece of our contemporary world as it might appear to others in some distant future, or as the ruins of past worlds appear to us today”. In the broadest sense the work is about gravity, and has been partially inspired by the current concern for sustainability at large – be that social, cultural, economic, or environmental – along with his increasing interest in excess and economy (or lack-there-of), an interest that seems to push his work towards ever more unsustainable practices and unstable concepts that directly flirt with physical and conceptual collapse.