Paul Wotherspoon: Reverse Monument

This is a video of a 2009 work by Paul Wotherpsoon, a member of the collaborative exhibition group*, Forgetting the Ordinary. Paul was telling me about this work today: It is comprised of a shell of clear sticky-tape, which was painted in layers as it was constructed, resulting in a sort of three dimensional colour spiral. The monument- structure in the centre of the cylinder is motorised, and as it spins, it gradually unravels the exterior structure, and collects the tape, building upon its own form. This work is reminiscent of many things about art that I love; Jean Tinguely, and his occasionally self-destructive sculptures, or Roman Signer's deliberate mechanical accidents...

I also found in this a reference to Robert Smithson's essay, A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey. In his spontaneous, observational musings on this out-of-the-way town in New Jersey, Smithson discovered an array of sites that to him represented the process of entropy in the banal and everyday: building sites, industrial architecture, a sand pit. He described some of these sites as 'ruins in reverse', 'all the new construction that would eventually be built', and in its turn, fall apart. Paul's sculpture, with its carefully and laboriously painted geometric forms equally foresees its own destruction - it was literally made for it - and there is something beautiful about its final pathetic manifestation as a crumpled mess that memorialises its former, albeit temporary, grandeur.

Although it's not immediately relevant to this work, I thought of Paul when I read this sentence in Smithson's essay, so in a way it seems like an apt way of summarising :

'I am convinced that the future is lost somewhere in the dumps of the non-historical past; it is in yesterday's the false mirror of our rejected dreams.'

*This title may be vaguely inaccurate, but for the sake of identification it'll do for now.

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