Margin of Error is an exhibition of commissioned work by Martin Cordiano at BalinHouseProjects. The exhibition is part of the House Taken Over programme curated by Eduardo Padilha and Harold Offeh.
Opening on 30th Sept from 6-9 pm.
House Taken Over is funded ACE. This BHP project features a programme of Saturday Lunches, an exhibition, a walk & talk and workshops. With commissioned writer in residence, Jes Fernie and a publication designed by graphic designer Sarah Boris.
Partners: Tate Exchange/Freelands Foundation, Wysing Art Centre, Matt’s Gallery and Bankside Open Spaces Trust.
Photo credits to Sol Aizcorbe and moving images Nicolas Woinilowicz
House Taken Over (and other tales of empowerment)
by Lorena Muñoz-Alonso
Proportion is very important to us, both in our minds and lives as objectified visually, since it is thought and feeling undivided, since it is unity and harmony, easy or difficult, and often peace and quiet.
Proportion is specific and identifiable in art and architecture and creates our space and time. Proportion and in fact all intelligence in art is instantly understood, at least by some. It’s a myth that difficult art is difficult.
— Donald Judd, ‘Art and Architecture’ lecture (1983)
The works that the artist Martin Cordiano installed
at BalinHouseProjects from September 2017 to April 2018 as part of his exhibition Margin of Error seemed to fuse with their surroundings. Walking across the rooms of this small south London flat, the artworks played games with visual perception, poking out in the corner of one’s eye at one moment, while coyly retreating to the background when confronted directly. This sensation of elusiveness was unexpected; it wasn’t something that came across in the photos documenting the show that I had carefully studied ahead of my visit. In those images, the stacks made of found construction materials had a commanding presence, like a lo-fi jibe at the sculptural glossiness of Donald Judd; they filled the frame, their textural materiality and insouciant verticality demanding to be acknowledged. In the flat, though, the stacks seemed to be part of the very foundations of the space, as if they had stood there since the Tabard Garden Estate was first built in 1938. They weren’t exactly unobtrusive — they were ghostly.
The ghost metaphor might come in handy (injust a few paragraphs time). But first, let’s run through the basics: what exactly are these stacks? The straightforward answer is that they are representations of space — of surface areas, to be precise. Each column represents the footprint of the room in which it was placed, condensed vertically and quantified in a new measurement system: the length of Cordiano’s foot.
In Eduardo Padilha’s bedroom at Balin House, a mural was painted above the bed. It was a square grid in what seemed to be a lysergic combination of green and yellow hues. Some segments appeared to be off- kilter, producing a pulsating effect that brought to mind the experiments in geometrical abstraction of seminal Latin American artists like Lygia Pape, Hélio Oiticica, and Antonio Asis. A small stack of the square patterns used to paint the mural hung on the wall next to it. The squares were piled on top of each other, from smaller to larger, pleated like a beautiful wooden fan. Their varying sizes were devised according to the length of the feet of fifty-six people close to the artist — from family members to friends and peers.
All these works hinge on the idea of space — particularly the age-old human drive to measure it and render it visible. But due to Cordiano’s use of the lengths of the feet of real, living people, including himself, these works can be said to contain not just space in the abstract, but also the people whose own measurements structure Cordiano’s system. What could be deemed a highly conceptual, almost mathematical approach to art-making becomes charged with an emotional load: a human layer of bodies occupying space, specific bodies that matter,[ ]
Margin of Error transported to The Other Space (TOS)
Images @ BHP