February 16-March 4, 2009
David Alesworth | Huma Mulji
Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery
National College of Arts | Lahore | Pakistan
“The Garden of Babel”
“Base of the World, Magic Base No. 3 by Piero Manzoni 1961 Homage to Galileo.”
The world as sculpture.
Mona Hatoum, “Socle du Monde” 1992-1993
Wooden structure, steel plates, magnets and iron fillings
64 5/8 x 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in. (164 x 200 x 200 cm)
Photo: Edward Woodman
Besides a tribute to Manzoni’s sculpture by the same name of 1961, Hatoum says like the black stone of the Kaaba, thirty years of wars and deceits have turned Manzoni’s pure work black with the sins of man.
I see “12.2.42” as part tribute (to scientific endeavor) and part warning (of the imperfect nature of mankind’s knowledge). The smallness of mankind’s achievements set against the vastness of creation. The ultimate failure of all technologies and even civilization itself. It is a Vanitas sculpture. It critiques the arrogance of scientific knowledge. I half suspect this world will be sucked through the eye of an atom sized black-hole, produced in the new Cern accelerator. What a suitable end it would be for this planet, wrecked as it is, by mankind’s insatiable greed.
“Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in <st1:city><st1:place>Eden</st1:place></st1:city>; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”<o:p></o:p>
Genesis 2:8 9
In the Bible, God tells the man to name the animals (Genesis <st1:time minute=”19″ hour=”14″>2:19</st1:time>). In the Qur’an, Allah teaches Adam the names “of all things” and Adam repeats them (Ta-ha 20:120).
The idea that CP-1 was built in a university squash court has always appealed to me.(Chicago Pile-1) This appears to be a stack of graphite blocks from the core prior to assembly.
“Column of Stewardship”sample, trying plant motifs for scale. The idea is four of these guard “Fermi’s Pile” like the guardian figures around Tutankhamen’s outer sarcophagi, in the Cairo Museum.
I’m still gathering the range of samples for these.
MS stamped floral motifs, I’m considering them for the “Column’s of Stewardship”, they’re a bit “Truck Art”, crude, heavy and undifferentiated.
A prototype MS, Zinc plated frame. This one’s got a hot-dip surface. This has a thicker Zinc deposit which is good, for oxidizing, but also heavily crystalline, which isn’t what I’m looking for. The second frame sample is currently in progress.
David Alesworth and Adnan Madani, Nov. 2008.(details of the installation….)