Museum of Display

Photographic credits: ©, Copyright, Jan Mast

Secret Liaison Hideaway Airspace (amœba joinery simple growth)

Greeted by coincidentally laid-on festivities, coming out into the light of day, finding their way back the way they came, the visitors return, many times over at that (having seen all the sights there are to be seen).

Perfectly completing everything, thrown in for good measure, (with lifeboats, cabins, gangways and engine rooms), with a touch of stern fortress, naval port and aircraft carrier battleship, but fallen ancient civilisation and empire, throwback to advanced, seaside holiday resort popular entertainment venue and open-air swimming-baths, all in all. To happily drift, float, ramble, swim and waft about in, extracted from their natural habitat, preserved inside clear blue sky, housing the only ever known real live feint clouds to be held in captivity, ultimate jewel in the crown is a vivarium tank. Beamed through 4-sided tubular chutes, ducts and pipes, a mesh of strategically positioned grills channel traffic of cargo deliveries to order and commuters on pilgrimage alike. Far exceeding capacity of actual size limits, consumed and taken up by impenetrable obstacle races and assault courses, every space. Behind wafer thin partitions, while whole wide continents are walled-up in cramped cupboards, the most unfathomably deep of walls contain narrow and low mouse-holes.

With many intermediate transitional landmarks and milestones along the way (whatever unfindable however that turns out to be), helpfully indicated and pointed out clearly by everywhere else, meandering and digressing direction and route arrives at terminal destination of arrow shaped room somewhere. All opening inwards onto somewhere far larger than enclosure occupied, each frame touching onto the next one, usually tending to be more or less 3 doors, the movable and itinerant centre can and will end up anywhere. Everywhere turns up unexpectedly anyway, because sooner or later, so is getting lost, but then again, getting to or simply pinpointing anywhere is impossible. But completely unclear as to how or why, everywhere leads towards and connects up with somewhere else, one way or another. Then leave to go somewhere else, approach and linger awhile, entrances, exits and the places themselves. Take in everywhere slowly and go nowhere fast, climb up and down stairs, pass through moving monastic hospital corridors and tunnels, always on the move, shift in transit, travel about, all chambers and their contents. Long very for still stays or way same the remains ever that nowhere is there. Finite end to it all or happy ever after, middle somewhere in between, was not and never will be any beginning to start with, there is no, around here.

The housing that shows off these treasures, valeted for conversion as cabinet niche and display vitrines, tool-kit cases transfer into fireplace hearths. Providing raw material reserves and specialist equipment with which to draw, engrave, sculpt and paint one marvel after another; loosening gaseous and liquid powdered gold, as they do so, unearth and revive fossil fuel light, motion and sound sources, members of both personnel stumble upon, that whole episode got out of the way and put behind them. Without incident, fortunately, introduce themselves and are brought together, they meet up, half-way between. Neighbours their up clean and out dig involved sides different two the. Pitted at complete odds against the other, despite each serving cross-purposes, at the same time, nearby, unaware of what the others are doing, these separate parties carry on regardless. Heading straight ahead towards same direction, tunnelling through, cut, bore, pound, grind and hack, chisel, file, hammer, pickaxe, hatchet, shovel, drill and saw, coming from opposite end. Atmosphere through slice and thick on it lay blades flat. Mixed up with still more to fortify, build and make new, harvested and earns interest to be spread and rubbed back in, ensuing produce is gathered up. While sink plunger unblocks plumbing and drainage; then mop and bucket to wash and polish, for sponge to soak up and towelling to dry out; rough scouring pads and harsh detergents thoroughly scrub them down; stuck onto mid and thin air worktop surfaces, scrape off and clear away protectively layered coatings of dirt, left behind, broom, dustpan with brush and feather-duster sweep up. Laying down the foundations and paving the way forwards, still are and ever will be by spring-cleaning operation, has always been, original discovery and ongoing reinvention was.

Also, curves, arcs and circles, sometimes; as well as cubic and rectangular holes and lumps; each single one of them, grown out of, built up from, broken down as, cut up into and taken apart leaving triangular gaps and solid wedges; before ending up staying like that forever; agreeing to recline and lie flat down backwards; all of their sides, heads and toes touching onto and joined with those of the rest; opaque filled in conservatory, hollowed out crystal mountain, resinous jelly great pyramid and upholstered marquee tent (lop-sided, asymmetrically irregular and the whole lot) once crossed paths and came together; for, as age-old legend has it (this very day re-enacts itself to time-honoured tradition), this was the very spot where.

Just what the doctor ordered all along, yet it all turns out to be the very breakthrough needed. They arrive at entirely the wrong address, misdirections and changes of plans, after many false starts, having no goal or mission to begin with. Helping them find their way back to drawing-board square-one again afterwards, laying snail-trail of cords behind them, all roped together so they don’t lose track of each other, intrepid expedition committee sets out on a mystery quest.

'Secret Liaison Hideaway Airspace (amœba joinery simple growth)', with Nico Dockx, Extra City, Antwerp, 2011
©, Copyright, Douglas Park, 2011

Extra City Kunsthal Antwerpen
Tulpstraat 79, BE-2060 Antwerp, Belgium

With works and interventions by Isabelle Cornaro, Josef Dabernig, Neïl Beloufa, Jill Magid, Nico Dockx, Kris Kimpe, Metahaven and Douglas Park

20 May – 3 July 2011

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