A new publication by Dutton and Swindells (which includes my essay on their work) will be launched on 15th February 2011 at PSL in Leeds, in conjunction with the artists’ current residency and exhibition at PSL, entitled ‘Stag and Hound’. More about the project can be found at the PSL website here. My essay 'Moves Towards the Incomprehensible Wild' is a version of a much longer essay which will shortly be published in the online journal artandresearch in Volume 4, Number 1, Art and Animality.
About 'Stag and Hound' - artists' statement
'Stag and Hound' is the latest installment of Dutton and Swindells', 'Institute of Beasts' project - a project designed to temporarily house what the artists' describe as their more errant or wild thoughts. The works in the exhibition include objects, texts, animations and sound works which form an installation, both elegant and disturbing, that encodes a wide range of references. Stemming from the idea of an institute being something ordered and organized whereas 'Beasts' are unknown, erratic and mythologized, Dutton and Swindells divide their institute into conceptual departments, imposing a kind of idiosyncratic order, a gesture perhaps toward taming the erratic. Animated geometric forms and texts sit alongside inverted flower photographs, wall-drawings refer to celestial alignments, sound and music works are built by graphically re-interpreting activist slogans, a computer reads a pathetic and confessional soliloquy and a wall text appropriates spam e-mails selling 'Viagra'. The project has evolved into a multi-layered collage in which inconclusiveness and doubt are prioritized over empirical certainties, forming the critical sentiment that lies at the heart of the project. 'The Institute of Beasts' creates its own strange, yet strategic world-view with its chaotic aesthetic and sceptical notions of knowledge or knowing. For this outing of the project 'The Stag and Hound' the artists will install the exhibition ready for the launch on 20th January and then from 20th January - 16th February will be 'in residence' altering and shifting the exhibition, creating new works and points of resonance between existing works. The title references a tapestry 'The Stag Hunt' housed at the Cluny Museum in Paris in which the stag represents everyman and is hounded by dogs which represent the pitfalls in life such as desire, age or illness. Following on from previous installments of the Institute project such as 'The Dog and Duck' at the Kookmin Art Gallery, Seoul, S.Korea, the title of the show at PSL could also be the name of a pub, suggesting a space of potential conviviality but also of unexpected encounters.