March 5, 2016 - Nottingham Contemporary - Simon Starling
March 5, 2016

Nottingham Contemporary

Image courtesy Simon Starling and The Modern Institute.

Simon Starling
March 19–June 26, 2016

Nottingham Contemporary
Weekday Cross
Nottingham NG1 2GB
United Kingdom

T +44 115 948 9750
F +44 115 948 9755
info@nottinghamcontemporary.org

www.nottinghamcontemporary.org
Twitter

Simon Starling
March 19–June 26, 2016

Nottingham Contemporary
Weekday Cross
Nottingham NG1 2GB
United Kingdom

T +44 115 948 9750
F +44 115 948 9755
info@nottinghamcontemporary.org

www.nottinghamcontemporary.org
Twitter

Nottingham Contemporary presents the largest-ever exhibition in the UK of the work of Simon Starling. This exhibition brings together an ambitious new commission with a selection of the artist's major projects, most of which have never been shown in Britain before. Industry is a theme running through the selection. Some of the works allude to different eras of manufacturing, from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, to the high-tech sector, and China’s dominance today.

Starling is interested in physical, poetic and metaphorical journeys. These include the unacknowledged journeys of objects and materials—geographic, economic and through time—and their transformations. His celebrated 1997 work Blue Boat Black was originally a Victorian museum display case, remade by Starling into a fishing boat, and then burnt to create charcoal to cook the fish he caught.

This work is joined by a new work specially produced for Nottingham Contemporary, for which Starling built a boat out of magnesium. Project for a Crossing (2015–16) grew out of Starling’s interest in the British engineer Frank Kirk, who in the 1980s built lightweight bike frames from magnesium extracted from seawater. The magnesium used for Project for a Crossing was extracted from the politically contested waters of the Dead Sea. After the exhibition, Starling intends to use the boat to cross the Dead Sea—a fraught geopolitical journey that may only be partially possible, since the Dead Sea lies between Jordan, Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Another area of investigation is lost histories of manufacture. This includes works referring to the manufacturing processes that anticipated digital systems. Red, Green, Blue, Loom Music (2015–16) began with a visit to Antica Fabbrica Passamanerie Massia Vittorio in Turin. This family-run company produces high-quality woven fabrics, brocades and decorative trimmings on looms dating back to the 1780s. Many of the looms are still automated using the once-revolutionary late 18th century technology of Jacquard punch cards. In the context of Nottingham Contemporary, the work evokes the history of the Lace Market that surrounds the gallery.

Another of Starling’s concerns has been the physical properties of photographs, here recast as sculpture through epic distortions of scale. Two silver particles taken from 1875 photographs are enlarged a million times, while a floor of glass balls can be seen as half-tone printing dots that form an image when viewed from a raised platform.

In a special partnership with Derby Museum, the exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary will also include The Alchymist Discovering Phosphorus (1771–95) by Joseph Wright of Derby, the foremost painter of the Scientific Enlightenment. Derby Museum will display daguerreotypes made by Starling.

More works by Simon Starling will be shown at Backlit Gallery, close by Nottingham Contemporary.

Starling won the Turner Prize in 2005. He studied at Nottingham Trent University from 1987 to 1990 and graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1992.

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