36 19 ibid pp 56 81 20 mike dawson liam gillick flux

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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 18. Gillick, quoted in Liam Gillick, ed. Susanne Gaensheimer and Nicolaus Schaf hausen (Cologne: Okt agon, 2000), p. 36. 19. Ibid., pp. 56, 81. 20. Mike Dawson, “Liam Gillick,” Flux (August–September 2002), p. 63. Gillick. Revision/22nd Floor Wall Design. 1998. 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 Conference Centre 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 21. Gillick, Renovat ion Filter, p. 16. 22. Gillick, The Wood Way (London: Whitechapel, 2002), p. 84. 23. All of these works were shown in The Wood Way, an exhibit ion at Whitechapel Art Galler y in 2002. 24. 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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