50 Umbrellas



Screenprints, umbrellas and me.

for the show Dynamo (interim show), Space 44, Hackney Wick, London, May 2005

50 umbrellas given away during rain was screenprinted on newsprint with dark blue poster paint. Enough copies were made so that if they were steadily taken away throughout the show, they could still be maintained as a sheaf of copies. Each had a pair of hand-cut holes roughly the size of a two-pence coin at the top. They hung on two sturdy steel hooks fixed in the wall just above eye level. Situated between a pair of large windows with a broad view of the sky, the phrase induced an attitude of waiting in the onlooker. Searching the sky for a hint of cloud, or recalling forecasts, they imagined being rescued from the rain. Despite the sheets being barely discernable from the white brick of the walls, they exerted a certain authority hanging sedately at the head of the room.

Calendrical and duplicated in form, the piece proposed the removal of sheets. If it had been raining, anyone who entered the show would have seen me standing outside, holding an open umbrella above my head, with several closed umbrellas under my arm handing them to anyone passing by without one. Then, upon seeing the screenprints inside, they would approach them as a receipt of the actions outside. During good weather the screenprinted sheets were ambiguous were they a record of an action happening elsewhere or propositional? The map for the show indicated that the space outside the main door contained something (not evident) related to the screenprints. The lack of activity on that site during good weather inferred it was a space of potential.

Dynamo Space 44 Hackney Wick London 12-15th May 2005

Click here to view the interim MA show website