(a vernacular motif of marginal existence)
Mathieu Gallois Sculpture Proposal
Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Competition 2003
Description and rationale:
The work consists of a generic caravan, made entirely out of clear acrylic resin ‹ a totally three dimensional, life-size, see-through simulation of a real caravan, which the viewer can walk around and peer into. Clear acrylic in sheet form (a.k.a. ‘Perspex’) will be used for outer surfaces such as windows, doors and corrugated shell, as well as many interior features. From the internal furnishings to the tow-bar, right down to the substructure of chassis and wheels, every detail of the caravan is to be reproduced to a high degree of accuracy through utilising various forms of the one material. ‘Caravan’ is an extension of the concerns manifested in my recent full-scale works, most notably ‘Frontier’ and ‘Drive Thru’ where a replica suburban house and fast food outlet, respectively, were fabricated in polystyrene. Materially, the use of clear acrylic more fully articulates the anti-material(istic)/’object as non-object’ subtext that has been an abiding theme of my art practice. In particular, with its transparency, acrylic situates the work on a threshold between the physical and the non-physical, the visible and the invisible, the real and the suspended non-real. Metaphorically this threshold zone is also that explored in other works such as my recent “Flight 934-B’ and ‘Flesh’ (see catalogues enclosed). The caravan, as a motif of transitory, marginal existence (a vehicle that is also a home, a state in-between states, without status) alludes to the body’s suspension and displacement in contemporary life. The banality of the subject at first glance yields to a somatic dimension which resonates, through its self-contained structure, with the experience of individuality as alienation in a world in which displacement and ‘deterritorialisation’ are increasingly universal to the human condition. The mirage-like appearance of ‘Caravan’ makes it a fitting monument to the ‘invisible constituents’, the fringe-dwellers of mainstream society.