Wendy McGowan visits the construction of the House of Vernacular at Fabrica, Brighton / 2 October 2010
It was exciting to have had the opportunity to take a glimpse during the installation process of the House of Vernacular at the Fabrica Gallery, Brighton. The exhibition consists of a series of amateur and commercial photographic images selected by artist Martin Parr, and is part of the Brighton Photo Biennial.
As an artist who has utilised found objects and photographs in my own work, the process of constructing or choosing of an environment that re-articulates portentous objects has been important to me.
Once an intriguing object has been found I often feel inhabited by an obsessive need to restore it from obscurity, to meaning in the world, once again. To exhibit a found object is not just to show it, but also to show that it has been seen by the artist.
Here an astonishing vision and energy is going in to the creation of spaces, which highlight the poignancy of the found images provoking feelings of pathos, fear and humour at the human condition.
When I entered the exhibition space under construction, it reminded me of derelict buildings where you might actually find such objects, strewn on the floor or left on walls. Some of that sense of 'tableau' is being created here. Derelict spaces have always filled me with such joy as they remind me of the passage of time and of what has endured.
I dream of them often, where there is still space, light and freedom in which to wander and a pause in expectation, in search of a sense of transformation. And this is the space that I feel that I am in right now, as an artist and a writer.
The atmosphere at Fabrica during my visit was also one of ordered and concentrated activity, towards the delivery of the inexorable message of the work - photography itself. The framework is gradually becoming a series of rooms, a further layer of fiction in to situate the fiction of the images - at once articulated and sealed off.
I look forward to viewing the exhibition when it opens to the public and but will treasure these early glimpses, where I found what I found in those nameless moments.
The House of Vernacular selected by Martin Parr, is on show at Fabrica Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex from 2 October - 28 November 2010
Keywords: photography,visual arts