16 - 30 July 2007
Chris Braddock [New Zealand]
Working with notions of the body's trace I begin making impressions of my body and pouring the cavities with silicone, overflowing at the limits of the impression. I calculate quantities-and knowing how to stop-based on quotidian calculations: how hard I can push into clay or the most silicon-rubber I can mix by hand in one go. These part-objects embody an experience of the body: rather than casting a representation, the process captures an imprint of the performative action—between body and material.
from the Fleshly Worn Series, 2004
Christopher Braddock's AIR Residency will build on ideas seen in his recent project The Artist Will Be Present exhibited at Roger Williams Contemporary in Auckland. Braddock explores ideas such as studio-process as performance; the artist's body and the question of disclosure; trace; part object-part sculpture and quantifying the body.
For the DVD work Above, shot from his studio ceiling, Braddock contorts, bending over, grappling with some form or other between his knees. We never see the whole picture, only a partial revealing of his body and his drawn-out activity. For the DVD work Right shot close to the body, he pushes every right-hand part of his body into a ball of clay, carefully creating moulds of each part only to reconstitute the clay over and over again.
Such partial views of the body parallel the abstraction of the epoxy-clay works Take 1-18. These works are the result of the artist pressing handfuls of the material against his body. Not the spaces between him and other things but the spaces between 'his' body. Reminiscent of Lygia Clark's notion of the viewer as patient, audiences are invited to interact with the objects, less art objects as propositions that gain value as they are 'participated' with: as translational objects establishing relations between the individual and others, and highlighting the differences between the artist's and viewers' bodies. (Borja-Villel, p.14)
The videos and objects document 'processes' that share a common concern with how our bodies are revealed in the world. Common to all the images is an ambiguous character of part-object made by contact with the body. In this way they embody an experience of the body rather than casting a representation: the processes capture an imprint of the performative action—between body and material.