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"Past Perfect: Savage, Sonia Hanney and Adam Dade, Shrimpton and Bolas, Paul McGowan"
2003-01-17 until 2003-02-16
Sherborne House and Gallery Holt
Sherborne, , UK United Kingdom

Past Perfect - Why restore things? (A tense) formed with had + a past participle. (also called pluperfect, before-past, and past in the past.) The past perfect may also stress perfectiveness or completion. An exhibition of installation art in an 18th Century town house and a public school that asks how and why do we choose what to value?  How does art become valuable; which history becomes preserved; why does something become valuable and treasured?  

Past Perfect is presented in two venues, Sherborne House and Gallery Holt in Sherborne Boys School.

Savage  An old chair that looks from a distance as if it is covered in green velvet, on closer inspection reveals it is in fact covered in a fungal growth.  A room covered with a lurid pink lipstick, saturating the air with the cosmetic stench.  A pile of sawdust placed in a museum cabinet sanded from the floor on which it is standing.  A tramp's blanket removed, laundered and replaced neatly folded where it was found. Savage draws attention to the commodity and the vanity of art.

Sonia Hanney and Adam Dade are increasingly in demand (Melbourne, Ikon, Dublin and Spain) following a series of interventions in hotel rooms. Having hired a room, without prior agreement they dismantle every attachment and fitting and arrange all the components of the room in a block.  This block would include bed, TV, light fittings, taps, mirrors, everything detachable. They record the event photographically and then return the room to its original state ensuring no visible evidence in the room of their intervention.  This process questions the value of the transaction, ownership and the legalities of hire/lease by way of transforming the materials hired.

Shrimpton and Bolas are a combination of an acclaimed artist and highly respected architectural restorer.  Their name is used to title the collaborations of these two artists (Paul McGowan and Peter Linnett. They are concerned with the business of restoration, the values by which something is judged to be worth restoring.  Using the expectations of the craft s involved in restoration they question how a work of art has value attributed to it and how restoration edits out memory and attempts to restore things to one period. They question how history is presented, what it costs and the value of skill.

Paul McGowan, winner of the Tate magazine prize made 'Institution' a large installation that turned hundreds of feet of pipework into a huge radiator by plumbing it into a central heating system.  The work draws a large amount of power and generates  a lot of heat producing a heat haze around it. Paul's combination of objects is playful, questioning the purpose of objects.

All these artists have been commissioned to produce work to be installed in Sherborne House and Gallery Holt.  The issues they raise are particularly relevant to both the organisations housing the exhibitions but concern us all.

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