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"Close Encounters of the Art Kind: Work By Tania Kovats, Langlands and Bell, Sarah Lucas, Keir Smith, Richard Wilson, Bill Woodrow"
2001-11-01 until 2002-01-13
Victoria and Albert Museum
For six months works by the artists, Tania Kovats, Langlands and Bell, Sarah Lucas, Keir Smith, Richard Wilson, Bill Woodrow, were rotated round a variety of six homes where the householders sited them as they wished in relation to their own possessions. They lived with each for a month. The exhibition presents the sculptures, with photographs of them in their temporary homes, along with the thoughts of both artists and householders about their meanings. The resulting interpretations and responses are illuminating and not without humour.
Close Encounters of the Art Kind is devised by the innovative curator/artist, Colin Painter. Pioneering projects at the National Gallery (At Home with Constable's Cornfield, 1996) and Tate Britain (At Home With Art, 1999-2000) built on Painter's years of research with people in their homes, where people often have the most intense and formative relationships with aesthetic objects. Interested in the power of even the most modest of aesthetic objects in our domestic lives to have profound significance and effect, Painter is concerned to bring the work of contemporary artists more widely into that terrain. Here, through prolonged encounters, it can accrue meanings and perform functions, perhaps unimagined by the artist, and often outside conventional art world discourse, participating in the rituals and rites of passage of people's lives.
Also included in the exhibition will be objects, chosen by householders, from the homes in which the sculptures have temporarily lived. These will be complemented by items selected by the artists from the V&A's collection.