Astonishing Science. Spectacular museum.
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Things That Don't Work Properly, Things That Never Stop (yellow) - © Angus Fairhurst
Things That Don't Work Properly, Things That Never Stop (blue) - © Angus Fairhurst
Location: Who am I? gallery, first floor Wellcome Wing
Angus Fairhurst's animations Things That Don't Work Properly, Things That Never Stop (blue) and Things That Don't Work Properly, Things That Never Stop (yellow) play with accepted modes of representation and notions of identity. In both animations, disembodied torsos that have been drawn on a computer revolve and gyrate against glowing yellow and blue backgrounds. They undergo repetitive transmutations, suspended in absurd yet curiously compelling cycles.
In Things That Don't Work Properly, Things That Never Stop (blue) a seated naked body rotates on a swivel chair. The body changes from male to female and back again and as the swivelling increases in speed the form becomes entirely indistinguishable, neither male nor female. In Things That Don't Work Properly, Things That Never Stop (yellow) legs from two bodies of uncertain gender, clothed in androgynous underwear and joined at the waist, engage in a perpetual rising and falling motion, as if exercising or expressing sexual longing or relief.
Fairhurst's works draw upon the imagery of Surrealism while expressing an interest in the mediated image. Ideas of layering and cycles are central to their witty exploration of human behaviour.
'I'm interested in how far you can push something until it's completely destroyed, because I think it's not just destruction - you're making something else. There is a transformation in this process of overlayering and overgilding the lily.' Angus Fairhurst
Angus Fairhurst (1966-2008) worked in a number of different media including painting, animation, photography, video, sculpture and prints. He is known for being a key player in the ‘Britart’ scene of the 1990s, and is associated with the artists known as the YBAs (young British artists) who emerged from art schools in the late 1980s to dramatically challenge and reposition modes of production, display and meaning in British contemporary art.
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