- Duncan Mountford
Date : Jun. 10, 2023 – July. 08, 2023
Opening : Jun. 10, 2023 15:00
Meet the Artist : Jun. 17, 2023 15:00
Artists : Duncan Mountford
Venue : VT Artsalon (B1, No.17, Ln.56, Sec. 3, Xinsheng N. Rd, TaipeiCity 104, Taiwan.)
Each model is a ghost of something that has yet to be encountered. As such it is not a recreation of an existing structure with a focus on details – the obsession with the correct number and placing of rivets in the scale model of a tank – but on the way in which textures and layers of paint and dust produce surfaces that allow interpretation, the idea of time passing, as if each iteration of the structure had produced a surface that has subsequently been partially obscured.
The layers and textures are that of the slow process of decay, and, as with this entropic process, chance plays a part in what results. The chance flows of paint follow the pull of gravity, the sinking of the structure into the earth, the collapse of the sheltering roof that now provides only partial protection from the ever-present rain.
Haunt is a continuation of The Embassy of Doggerland and The Office of Arcana,
and uses miniature spaces within an installation to examine a series of ideas, as well as playing with the ways in which scale is viewed within a narrative led installation, that is the ways perception and imagination intertwine to situate a viewer within a scaled-down interior.
Both previous projects began with ideas leading from perceptions of abandoned and ruined buildings, a haunted landscape where structures could be the ruins of an unspecified future. The once derided literature of science fiction now seems to catch the present state with greater clarity than those who stated we were at the end of history (though in a way maybe we are). It is the sense of places that are not reduceable to a single narrative that offers explanation. The land is haunted by what might have been.
The model architecture reflects memories of edge-lands; in the UK around the River Mersey towards the industrial centre of Widnes; and in Taiwan the coast around Taoyuan Airport. These sites are unfixed in time, seemingly as if ghosts from a future catastrophe.
The interior models are based on connections between historical and contemporary military developments and the history of arcane thought in the UK. This began as a way to question those (including the artist) who can be seduced into believing they know the way things are. As the ideas developed the speculative connections were revealed as being based on historical events, or maybe on the single fact that with a collection of fragmented facts connections can always be made.
In addition to the experience of actual abandoned spaces the installation has been influenced by the imagery and ideas of British science-fiction television programmes, and science-fiction films, of the 1960’s and 1970’s (the artist’s formative years). In these fictions alternative realities were conjured with plywood and models, producing worlds that allowed imagination to complete the scenario.
There is a sense of uncertainty, of futures and pasts being fluid, of landscapes and buildings having gaps in cognition that produce no easy fixed narrative.
“There must also be a sense of alterity, a feeling that the enigma might involve forms of knowledge, subjectivity and sensation that lie beyond common experience” (Mark Fisher, The Weird and the Eerie, Repeater Books, 2016, p.62)
Haunt – Duncan Mountford