We are delighted to present new work by Simon Morse. This solo exhibition presents a range of objects that might be prototypes, props or ruins, all of which seem to have some undisclosed and undiscoverable purpose. Their forms appear gently familiar, the kinds of things one might find at the end of a corridor, quietly ‘on’. In their unheralded performance of who knows what task, they stand as low-key agents of a greater cause or idea. The works’ formal referencing, creating a kind of light-industrial version of hard edge abstraction, minimalism and arte povera, suggests an approach to the art object as a decidedly functional entity.
And yet the works’ self-possession and hermeticism evinces a set of struggles between idea and result, intention and consequence. Their somewhat sketchily-conceived or emptied forms are simultaneously overwrought, over-determined; they appear both unfinished and abandoned quickly after use. The marks of their making are left visible, the labels on their dials and switches hand-applied as if they stand to play only a temporary part in some larger drama, hastily fixed together to bridge some technical, cultural or historical fissure.
Morse describes language as ‘a series of locked office rooms, broken-down shopping centres and abandoned civic amenities’, and in the works there is a sense of thoughts, words and deeds in the wider world only ever being forged from anything that can be scavenged together in the moment. Indeed, in their mixture of languages and forms, absurdities and profanities, the works reveal a vision of ideation and production pushed to the boundaries of un-meaning by some overwhelming runaway imperative – to a place where it is impossible to see the trees, and only the implacable mountain is heard.
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