A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All Over the Workbench is the title of Walead Beshty’s large scale installation for the Barbican Centre’s The Curve. For his Curve commission, the London-born, Los Angeles-based artist Walead Beshty has transformed the Curve into a huge panorama made of more than 12,000 cyanotype prints that cover the huge wall from floor to ceiling. A central platform enables the visitor to view the work from multiple perspectives. In this video, Walead Beshty talks about the idea behind the work, how the prints have been created, how they objects are arranged on the wall, and why a series of encyclopedic volumes complements the exhibition.
Walead Beshty (born in London in 1976) is an artist, writer and professor working in Los Angeles. The work on his Curve commission began in Beshty’s studio in Los Angeles in 2013. For each of the 12,000 prints, the artist used cyanotype – one of the earliest photographic processes with a cyan-blue tint – and objects from the artist’s studio: an object is placed on top of a porous surface (such as discarded paper or cardboard), which has been coated with UV-sensitive cyanotype chemistry. After being exposed to the sunlight, the silhouette of the object appears against a cyan-blue background. The last prints were made in London in October 2014, made with material sourced from the Barbican during Walead Beshty’s residency. The prints are presented in chronological order, so that the installation can be read as a visual timeline.
Walead Beshty: A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All Over the Workbench at The Curve, Barbican Centre, London. Interview with Walead Beshty, October 14, 2014.
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Complete video (11:44 min.):