Indepth Arts News: |
"Christine Borland: A Major Exhibition of Work"
2006-12-02 until 2007-01-28
UK United Kingdom
The Fruitmarket Gallery is delighted to announce a major exhibition of work by Christine Borland.
This exhibition brings together a selection of existing, recent, and newly commissioned work,offering an opportunity to trace the development of Borland�s ideas across the range of her practice. Christine Borland makes art which deals with the body, and with our emotional, imaginative,
medical and historical sense of self. Her practice
is hugely varied, yet it is united by a number of
constants. Chief among these is an insistent
interrogation of objects and situations which shed
light on the junction between the fact of the body
and the more imaginative or conceptual construct
of the self: the mechanics and the mystery of
The kind of objects with which Borland works tend to
be those with a close practical, imaginative or
symbolic relationship to the human body. Shoes,
blankets, slippers, crockery, bones and cell cultures
have all featured in her work, as have objects with
more elliptical associations, such as diamonds, birds,
guns, apples, watermelons, leaves, plants and trees.
Borlands exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery opens
with a series of sculptures examining the frailty of the
human condition through the fragility of the human
body. In the mid 1990s, Borland discovered that it was
possible to purchase human skeletons mail order.
Simultaneously fascinated and horrified by this, she
made a number of works which seek to honour and
recuperate the lost souls whose skeletal remains were
acquired through the post. Second Class Male, Second
Class Female, 1996 reconstructs in bronze the heads of
the last two skulls obtained by the suppliers which the
artist used; while Supported, 1990-1999, reclaims a
fragile image from a skeleton by tracing its outline in
dust on a glass shelf. These works are presented in the
context of several others, including Bullet Proof Breath,
2001, a glass representation of human bronchia wound
around with spider silk, which offer alternative ways of
depicting and imagining the human body.
A sense of human knowledge unites the new work in
the exhibition, which takes the natural world as its point
of origin. The apple tree that provided Isaac Newton
with his revelatory moment, and the plane tree on the
island of Kos, under which Hippocrates, the founder of
modern medicine, is said to have taught, reverberate
through the history of mans understanding of his place
in the world. Borland has worked directly with both
trees to make new sculptures for the exhibition, though
neither is represented in its actual form. Accentuating
the imaginative power of these trees, their position as
the natural guardians of human endeavour, Borland
summons only their symbolic presence.
Ultimately, Christine Borlands art is concerned with
re-visualising that which is no longer there. Finding ways
imaginatively to cross back over the line dividing the
body from the self - the specimen from the individual
- she seeks to recuperate something of the essence
of human life.
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