Kunsthall Stavanger is happy to announce that artist Laura Aldridge is currently showing a newly commissioned work for the kunsthall's project #fromKStoyou. The work, NO MATH METHOD, takes the form of a banner on the kunsthall’s building and will stay up as 2020 goes into the new year.
The project #fromKStoyou is an ongoing project by Kunsthall Stavanger initiated in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. Artists are asked to make works that can spread solidarity in this moment of time. While most of the projects take place on digital platforms – such as Kunsthall Stavanger’s website and Instagram – the banner is installed on the outside of the kunsthall’s building, located in the centre of one of Stavanger‘s traffic hubs. The banner is meant to bring art to the public in a safe and engaging way and is visible for the hundreds, if not thousands, of onlookers that pass the building on a daily basis.
In the work NO MATH METHOD, Aldridge uses the banner format as a mode to present physical and tactile experiences via a medium which is better known for carrying text and information. The visual and audio gives way to access and engage in a different manner of communication, one where a loose thread or a hair on someones head triggers a sensory response as weighty and charged as the written word.
Aldridge creates her banner work by scanning objects and images, nothing is photographed. This deliberate action requires objects to touch a glass plate or roll through a machine, physically connecting them to the mode in which they will be represented. The chosen objects and images are both physically and visually flattened out yet simultaneously the scanner records the space within them, such as the weave and weft of a material. This democratizes detail as there is no depth of focus, no zooming in or out, all material is seen on the same visual planes. Aldridge’s chosen images, textures, objects and sounds are then unflattened via a process of layering and collaging. Akin to the physical motion of a Concertina, the final result is bursting at its own seems.
NO MATH METHOD depicts the disembodied crown of a human head and a canines back, hair and fur, things we brush and touch. Both displaced on top of hessian scrim, the kind sculptors use to reinforce plaster moulds, and framed by fabric tassels dancing in various directions. This choreography of textures and colors converse and activate the image while chimes jingle and sing in the wind, creating conversations with the physical space around the Kunsthall.
Consuming both our visual and audio senses, Aldridge carves out multiple layers and dimensions to our visual experience by giving equal importance to our sensory understanding of information. This experience is intentionally heightened by the way in which COVID-19 has censored our natural impulses to touch and experience physicality at its most intimate level.
Laura Aldridge (b. 1978) works within a broad range of media; photography, textiles, ceramics and glass are all incorporated into a sculptural practice that she describes as an expanded form of collage.
Aldridge’s installations explore the double-bind of subjectivity and objectivity, making versus experiencing, viewing versus participating. Her most recent installations emphasise display and presentation, exploring her own intuitive response to material and physicality. Her sculptures invite an impulsive response that is interrupted by the barrier of not being able to physically engage with the work itself. At this intersection Aldridge allows the intuitive and the sensory to unfold.