Zin Taylor

08.10.11  –  27.11.11

With the exhibition Growth, Brussels-based Canadian artist Zin Taylor (°1978) lets a multilayered tale of transformation unfold throughout KIOSK’s rooms. The artist presents a series of existing video works, drawings and sculptures, letting them grow further in new narrative and spatial constellations.

At the root of the show is a thorough study of the materialization of natural forms in sculpture through the use of traditional, artisan techniques and sculptural principles. As such, the show’s title alludes to the very nature of sculpture; the natural development of forms. The works on display in Growth can thus be seen as variations on a single, fundamental question: How do forms arise? How do works of art grow?

Taylor elaborates upon this formal study by concentrating on narrative constructs as contextual frameworks. In Growth, the artist’s guise is that of a narrator who has installed guidelines of sound and odour throughout the exhibition space. Although each set-up stages only part of the story, it is the tellingly entitled dough-forms of Organisms (2009), arisen autonomously and peering at the visitor from their glass cabinets, that make up the vocabulary and connective tissue of the exhibition. They accompany and lead us: the abstract whisper in the hemicycle room and wafts of incense coincide with the psychedelic folk sounds produced by The Flute of Sub (2007). In this video performance, the flute – whose shape is an exact model of a tunnel – musically pictures the landscape it inhabits. The calm exuded by the monochrome screening room is starkly contrasted by the dominant hypnotic sounds of the video White Pearl Sunshine Summoning Charm (2007) that is set up in the adjacent room. In this last room, the search for the origins of form is explicitly brought to the fore in the series of drawings Growth on a Form (2007) and Wood and Dust (2010). Together with the publications that accompany and extend Taylor’s installations, these works complete Growth.

Taylor’s unrelenting investigation of the development of a fundamental, sculptural form as an organically unfolding process – and its simultaneous narrative embedding – is fully realized in the central work The Bakery of Blok and the Three Forms of Unit (arrangement I, II, III) (2009). This installation, consisting of a series of stacked materialist ‘units’, unfolds as a densely layered, spatial dialogue. The work’s concentrated placement in the centre of the hemicycle room seems to symbolize the centre of Taylor’s universe and thought: a concentration of suggestive concepts from which a myriad of storylines sprout. The whole, within which the mystery of the arising of forms suggests itself, can only be taken in by completing a circle around the installation.

By way of a classically arranged collection of multimedia works, The Bakery of Blok metaphorically suggests the making of bread. A descriptive list of the tools that are needed to make bread was the starting point from which Taylor interpreted and realized the matching forms. From the original creation of this visual language, the artist proceeded towards a linguistic translation of text into a series of sculptural or graphic forms that were in turn animated into video images. The monitors show small blocks of wood and bread in dialogue in their private language. With the wooden sculptures that are the materialized thoughts of the dough, they feature in a suggestive plot throughout the fifteen episodes of The Bakery of Blok, Season 1 (2009). Taylor forestalls an unambiguous interpretation of his eventual realizations as mere formal research by enveloping them in lush metaphors and stories that are based sometimes upon anecdote, and sometimes upon the most fantastical of concepts.

Special thanks goes out to the Ursula Blickle Stiftung. Thanks also to Etablissement d’en face projects, Cassochrome, and Outside Broadcast.

exhibition text / press release / poster / publication

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