Sites of Extraction & Construction

Ojectif Exhibitions

Sites of Extraction & Construction. 2015
Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp. 

In this solo exhibition, and a collaboration with Tina O’Connell, the gallery became two sites, each with separate entrances.

In the main gallery space, a retrospective of works was curated by Antony Hudek. This included a review of fieldworks and drawings using GPS (at the original site of Robert Smithson Spiral Jetty) presented alongside selected films and unseen experiments by Neal White.

To the rear of the gallery was a site-responsive wall drawing for a temporary monument / land work proposal for a site in the centre of Antwerp, to mark the city’s involvement in the Diamond mining industry.  The drawing, that used ink and back diamond (waste) depicts one of two large Canadian diamond mines in Yellowknife, operated by Rio Tinto. 

Two collaborative works with Tina O’Connell were also shown. The first in the main gallery is from an object conceived and then made for a Computing museum in Ireland, founded by enthusiasts. Unable to afford expensive displays, the work recreates a scale model of the Telstar Satellite and was donated to the founder of the museum Brandan ‘Spedie Smith’. The project was part of TULCA Contemporary Arts Festival (Curated by Val Connor). The Speedie Telstar.

The second part of this project is a complex site-specific installation. In this work , the basement was accessed down a ladder from a visitors kiosk placed in the courtyard. Once in the basement,  visitors encountered a plinth with two sculptures. These two sculptures, modelled on the void of the open cast diamond mine depicted upstairs, collapse back through holes inside the plinth itself over many weeks. A slow rumbling soundscape, generated from seismic data resonates the space. It was composed by Anna Troisi.

As visitors left the installation, they entered a room filled with sodium light and a passage from Minus Twelve, written by Smithson whose work featured in aspects of the other part of the exhibition.

Proposal for a monument to the Diamond Industry in the middle of Antwerp. Based on a Rio Tinto open cast mine in Canada. Ink, acrylic and industiral diamonds on ground. c. 4m x 3m 

Above are two GPS drawings made on the site first selected by Robert Smithson for Spiral Jetty. These were part of a performance, called ‘Going Nowhere’. Coordinated with Center for Land Use Interpretation. The film to left was made at Spiral Jetty. 2008. For more information - see Fieldworks from the Museum of the Void. 

Also in the gallery 

A one second drawing by John Latham, was a gift from the artist in December 2015. It marks a significant connection and is further explored in a one second film of a sneeze made in 2001. Seen left on desktop. 

The Speedie Telstar - from a series of objects conceived as gifts for enthusiast museums. On loan from The Computer Museum of Ireland, Galway. 

Deep Freeze (Open Cast Topography).
With Tina O’Connell

First, into the basement... 

Inside the basement on top of a plinth - two bitumen forms, cast in the spiral form of the diamond mine above, collapse...


... then inside the plinth.

Peering into this box from the edges, the bitumen can be seen as it melts over weeks onto a light box that includes the positive space used to make the cast.