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Unformatted text preview: nsiderat ion of exchange, informat ion transfer and strateg y,” while the Big Conference Centre Legislat ion Screen (1998), a 3 x 2 meter colored
Plexiglas screen, “helps to deﬁne a locat ion where individual act ions are limited
by rules imposed by the communit y as a whole.”19
Gillick’s design st ructures have been descr ibed as const ruct ions hav ing “a
spat ial resemblance to ofﬁce spaces, bus shelter s, meet ing rooms and canteens,”
but t hey also t ake up t he legacy of Minimalist sculpture and post-Minimalist
inst allat ion art (Donald Judd and Dan Graham immediately come to mind).20 Yet
Gillick, quoted in Liam Gillick, ed. Susanne Gaensheimer and Nicolaus Schaf hausen (Cologne:
Okt agon, 2000), p. 36.
Ibid., pp. 56, 81.
Mike Dawson, “Liam Gillick,” Flux (August–September 2002), p. 63. Gillick.
Courtesy the artist
and Cor vi-Mora,
London. 60 OCTOBER Gillick’s work differ s from that of his art histor ical predecessor s: whereas Judd’s modular boxes made the viewer aware of his/her physical movement around the work,
while also drawing attent ion to the space in which these were exhibited, Gillick is
happy for viewer s to “just st and with their backs to the work and t alk to each other.”21
Rat her t han hav ing t he v iewer “complete” t he work, in t he manner of Bruce
Nauman’s corr idor s or Graham’s video inst allat ions of the 1970s, Gillick seeks a
perpetual open- endedness in which his art is a backdrop to act ivit y. “It doesn’t necessar ily funct ion best as an object for considerat ion alone,” he says. “It is somet imes a Gillick. Big
Limit at ion Screen.
1998. Courtesy the
artist and Cor viMora, London. backdrop or decor rather than a pure content provider.”22 Gillick’s t it les reﬂect this
movement away from the directness of 1970s cr it ique in their use of ironically bland
management jargon: Discussion Island, Arrival Rig, Dialogue Platform, Regulat ion Screen,
Delay Screen, and Twinned Renegot iat ion Platform.23 These corporate allusions clearly dist ance t he work from t hat of Gr aham, who exposed how apparent ly neut r al
architectural mater ials (such as glass, mirror, and steel) are used by the st ate and
commerce to exercise polit ical control. For Gillick, the t ask is not to rail against such
inst itut ions, but to negot iate ways of improving them.24 A word that he frequent ly
Gillick, Renovat ion Filter, p. 16.
Gillick, The Wood Way (London: Whitechapel, 2002), p. 84.
All of these works were shown in The Wood Way, an exhibit ion at Whitechapel Art Galler y in 2002.
However, it is arguable from Gillick’s examples that “improvement” connotes change on just a
formal level. In 1997 he was invited to produce work for a Munich bank and descr ibed the project as
follows: “I ident iﬁed a problemat ic dead zone in the building—an over sight by the architect s— which I
proposed to solve wit h t hese screens. These would subt ly change t he way t he space worked.
Interest ingly, however, my proposal made the architect s rethink t...
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- Spring '09