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Graham Landin and Joseph Staples



Picnic Rock

“We’d better watch the tide” the skip remarked cautiously as we pulled into the lagoon. The evening was bright and warm, and after tying off and having a swim we sat basking in the glow. As the sun made its descent towards the horizon I recalled Peter Kubelka musing about this as an illustration of a right angle, from which could be derived the basic foundation of architecture. As the ball falls, so to say. At the time I had been trying to articulate my own fascination with the right angle and reckon with the pleasure I derived from viewing an example against the abstract nature of its geological setting. Here was a resolution, written into the lighting structure of our existence on earth. To witness the sun setting against an unobstructed horizon is to witness a right angle in motion, save for imperceptible curves and visions of floating L’s. Surely, I thought to myself, my interest is biological, encoded into the human psyche through millennia, and exists in the same aesthetic realm as watching a gigantic fiery ball vanish from view, all the while illuminating particles in pleasurable ways previously unknown. Unless of course, one had lived yesterday.

And so it was, and the evening was balmy and many lemons were squeezed before we thought to remember to watch the tide. The boat wouldn’t budge and our sun was setting swiftly. A hasty decision was made, and I was naked from the waist down, in as much water, trying desperately to heave the vessel back into a safely floating stasis. The skip who had been enjoying a swim in the suit which suits the terrain best, became aware and hurried to my side. With the extra weight we eventually did manage to budge the boat, and this is how we narrowly escaped at sundown on the night of two moons.

Elegant Living

Staging furniture in real estate attempts to make a house a home by demonstrating how the home can conceivably function: this is where you will sit and pray and communicate. Flat screen here; adoring lover there.

A gallery attempts to make a piece of art a part of art history by mimicking the museum’s form. This is how this piece of art should be treated. This is how one should appreciate and contextualize. Both are types of staging.

The artist says:
“I enjoy the fantasy of having work in an institution protected until civilization collapses, but who are we kidding? Most of the work will end up in someone’s home. Besides, the canon is long gone. No one wants your old drawings.

“I think many artists undervalue being in a home. It’s important. Most of a work’s life in an institution is in confinement. To be positioned in the backdrop to someone’s life, game night, domestic fights or sex life is a pretty good place to be.

“To much of the general public, our work represents a freedom they feel is out of their reach. Through possession, they gain a piece of the same freedom that can feel to us like a dark, crushing weight of unmet expectations and withering disappointments, at least in those less grateful moments.”

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