Alex Robbins / Jamie George
6 July—16 September 2007
Let me tell you a story. It’s about a missing tree, or better about a tree that is no longer there and about a hexagonal bench, almost paralyzed by its own physicality.Well, I am not making much sense. Let’s start again. There is an inoperative bench on one side and a vacant parking lot on the other. We are in a sort of dysfunctional park, but don’t worry it can’t be a sad story because it’s Sunday.
During one of the first conversations with Alex and Jamie, we discussed the hybrid character of FormContent, neither completely outdoors nor entirely indoors. The arch contains features of an open space but has turned into an inside space over time. The very nature of the arch evinces an unsolvable duality - it contains the features of an open space, namely the history engraved in the brick walls, the dusty concrete floor and the physical inside, whereas a solid wooden entrance door implies a shift from a public into a private environment.
This indefinable feeling has a sort of illusionary nature, similar to the one transmitted by two other peculiar places such as parks and squares. Both are human responses to specific social necessities, such as aggregation, communication, exchange and leisure. But they differ in their innate purposes. If the square is the space for a general social acknowledgement, the park is the place for the redefinition of subjectivity. If the square has the power to transform the subject into a social being, the park gives the illusion of a refound subjectivity through the experience of personal leisure.
With Sunday, Alex Robbins and Jamie George have been working on the thin line which divides the idea of a social construction between private and public. The arch becomes the stage for a ‘forever lost’ social moment, emphasizing its loss with the redundancy and inadequacy of the pieces presented. Alex uses an image of a urban playground where truncated tree trunks are left to challenge an imaginary fulfillment of their vacancy, while Jamie offers an ‘everyday social prop’, a public bench, removed from its function. Alex uses the technique of a billboard, an outdoor language brought inside the space, underlining the temporality and the incongruity not only of the image but also of the space itself. Jamie has designed a sculpture from the very shape of his own room, blending private life with public use.
Both artists have been working independently but comparing their paths every step along the way. Missing trees, a vacant lot, a useless bench. All these elements work separately but blend together to create a melancholic mood. So far it seems a sad story, but it’s not, it’s Sunday.