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Here and Now: Experiences in sculpture


'Here and Now' was the title of a series of exhibitions in 1998- 99 curated by Robert Hopper and Greville Worthington at The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, and the Church of Saint Paulinas, North Yorkshire. Here and Now: Experiences in sculpture, with a commentary by Juan Cruz, is the belated catalogue to these exhibitions - 'information after the event, both written and photographic, and not intended to replace the experience', writes Corinna Dean.

It is a pocket-sized paperback, whose compelling photographs with white borders are resonant of place and experience. This supports the exhibition's aim, which was to emphasise the phenomenological relationship between the artworks and viewer.

Seven artists participated at two very different locations - an art institute and a deconscecrated church. Chosen to illustrate 'the possibilities of contemporary sculptural practice', their work extended outside the traditional realm of sculpture. Jeff Wall, for instance, was selected for the physical, almost hyper-real quality of his light-box photographs; while Richard Tutttle exhibited The Nature of the Gun - a suite of furniture, lavishly upholstered and constructed to a strict set of measurements, that questioned preconceptions about viewing furniture as art (see left).

Perhaps the most relevant response to the curators' brief was Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir's work Trace, which set up a physical relationship between spectator and site. White cloth booties lay in an antechamber-like area underneath the main space of the church, suggesting the scenario sometimes encountered when visiting a stately home, whose floors must be protected from alien shoes. The spectator was then led up into the main church where four ceiling-mounted speakers, hung to form a rectangle, filled the space with sounds of a solitary skater.

Here and Now provides a rich reading experience and clearly maps out the curators' position: upholding a degree of tangibility in art, when some predict that experience will be dematerialised by electronic technology.

Corinna Dean is an architect in London

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