Rebecca Uffindell has previously functioned as part of a collaboration but now works independently, further interrogating notions of belonging, ownership, worth and recognition in abandoned items. Using found objects and a constructed recreation of The University of Reading Art Department, Rebecca intends to bring value to the items gleaned from charity shops by placing them into a setting where they become art objects. Rebecca has extended her research from objects to place focusing on Anthony Vidler’s The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely. Through this she has questioned our associations with the Unheimlich and what constitutes our comfort in setting, extending to banal locations and non-places.
In the exhibition Rebecca installed a variety of eclectic objects ranging from a solitary ping-pong paddle and a toast rack, to a door number and a ceramic postcard. These objects, stemming from last year’s collaborative practice, are gleaned from liminal spaces of charity shops and remained abandoned until their recovery. But instead of confronting the audience with the neglected, Rebecca intends to confront each viewer with the celebrated by placing them in constructed replica of the Department. This model made from foam board, acts as the frame for the audience to question the importance of these items when their physical size is altered relative to their surroundings. The floor is omitted from the construction of the replica in the hopes that the objects that are placed within the structure are doubly cemented in a constructed and physical space. This also demystifies the illusion of scale in order to awaken the audience to the items’ need for real life appreciation. By transforming these ordinary things into art objects, Rebecca questions that if the items appear larger in their setting, is their worth increased or do they remain as a relic to the banal?
Artists that have influenced Rebecca Uffindell during her practice this term include Mike Kelley and his work Educational Complex and the sculptures of Isa Genzken and Claes Oldenburg. Kelley’s work prompted Rebecca to consider the relationship with fact and fiction and how these two binaries function when they are merged together. Isa Gensken’s Sculptures helped inform Rebecca’s development of the scale model as her work has been likened to “contemporary ruins” that act as suggestion of a space, unobtrusive to the objects situated outside of their perimeters. Claes Oldenburg’s public art installations are especially pertinent to Rebecca’s practice. His use of scale de-familiarizes his sculptures and produce an uncanny effect. As they are situated in a public setting the objects remain accessible and demand attention from their audience.
Rebecca Uffindell intends to revive the collaborative practice she had with Eleanor Slaney and Hazel Lewis-Farley and further pursue ideas of place, belonging, identity and acceptance expanding into next year. Whimsy and playfulness will always feature as a theme as she explores wider mediums and methods.
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I am happy with how the installation turned out. In retrospect I could have made the model bigger and perhaps included more items but overall I think this is a good point to springboard into next year.
If space would have allowed in the third year studio I think a more thought out curated space would have knitted the exhibition together more successfully. Nevertheless, I am pleased with the outcome!
*The content of this post was uploaded after the Monday deadline*
I assembled the panels by matching the colour and number coded foam board together. I experimented a little with glue gun but I felt the results were too messy for my liking. I discovered that a combination of double sided tape and pins were successful. The tape neatly stuck the panels together while the pins fastened them into place and made them structurally sound.
Then it was just a matter of placing the zones of the construction of the model together to form the floor plan.
*the content of this post was uploaded after the Monday deadline*
I helped Joke move her piece onto firts year with the help of others. During this process I realised the importance of logistics when making large scale works! We definitely had some trouble navigating the doors and corners!
This is the space I am working with to the lead up of the exhibition. My aim is to assemble the pieces and then clean the space.
*the content of this post is uploaded after the Monday deadlines*
Below are the objects I have gleaned for my installation. The Autistic Shop in Reading is my goldmine for random things. From all the shops I have visited this one is by far the most crammed full of all sorts of things. I have included a little description as to why I have chosen these objects although largely my decisions are largely based on impulse.
This little cat ornament reminded me of Jeff Koon’s banality series and I’m debating making a plinth within the space in a similar fashion. The only object not found in The Autistic Shop.
This interested me as the House Number hasn’t even been opened yet yet is still disregarded already in its packaging.
There is no real explanation for this shoe brush, I was just simply drawn to it.
I found one blank tape and chose one with handwritten annotations. The contrast intrigued me in these objects that someone had the care to label a tape, with their writing acting as a relic, and how one tape is left completely blank already for a new owner.
This objects is a cross between a postcard and a ceramic painting. Although fairly Kitsch, it interested me how this would interact within my constructed space as a wall mural.
I found a solitary ping pong paddle in the shop it was by itself with no partner or ping pong ball. It lead me to think of the concepts of wholeness and pairs. It appears that this objects can now never fulfill its purpose. Its almost sad.
This simple toast rack reminded me of Franz West’s “Adaptives” with their elongated size that stood on end. I can imagine this object fulfilling a similar role within my miniature gallery.
Altogether I think these objects work well together but, of course, I will have to fiddle about with placement when I am able to install in the gallery.
So there has been a bit of a set back with installation. As space has been really tight this year I am unable to install until the 30th of April at the earliest. This is because the first year space is now available to us but we have to wait for them to de-install their pieces.
Of course this isn’t ideal but it does mean I am able to really consider the space I use instead of being squashed somewhere that doesn’t give my installation enough room. Unfortunately, it does mean that I will not have any install pictures before the blog and statement deadline but I will upload anyway so that the full process is up and flows with my own process in construction.
My intention for the space is to have the replication situated with enough floor room so that it is perhaps possible to roam around it in order for the objects to be considered from all angles. The floor plans I was given did not have any window holes labeled on the document so it might come down to actual assembly as to whether I include them or not. On the one hand it will be more true to how the department looks, yet on the other hand if it is not accurate this may be detrimental to how it is viewed.
So far building has been going steady although balancing revision with construction has been difficult for me this week. Below are some images of the progress so far:
The stickers have been an absolute lifesaver otherwise I would have no idea what’s going on although it looks a bit chaotic it is organised (in my mind). Each coloured sticker is a label and then they are individually given number so that the panels match. In hindsight I should have probably worked in coloured zones but its a bit late for that now – whoops! I have found that the cleanest way to assemble the walls is to use double sided sticky tape secured with pins (as seen above), this allows for a bit more structural integrity. On some of the panels the cuts have been quite messy which I thing is a combination of my unsteady hand an a increasingly blunt stanley knife. A scalpel will definitely be used in the future. All the panels are simply x10 of the measurements taken of the plans in centimeters.
I have decided not to construct the floor of the department. This is partially due to time and necessary precision – that I don’t think I have at the moment – and also because I feel the installation will be grounded in the department if its own grey floors are used. It will act as a liminal bridge between replica and physical place, further emphasising the importance of these disregarded objects and how they do not need their own place to be celebrated: attention is simply needed to be paid to them.
I have decided not to assemble my panels yet as it would be an absolute nightmare to transport to the department, instead; I will cut all the panels and bring any necessary equipment with me so that there would be minimal damage to the foam board.