Work By artist Robert Good on the shelf 17th -27th July.
Robert Good is an artist who works with language and text with the themes of collecting, cataloging and organising implicit to the work. Precise (yet idiosyncratic) systems of sequencing are often tempered by traces of a physicality- implied acts of cutting, snipping, shredding and erasing – which gently point towards compulsive tendencies. His breaking down, deconstructing and re-assembling is reminiscent of a child’s efforts to ‘understand’ but in embracing a kind of un-knowing, Robert creates fantastical new systems with their own private logic, lending his work the unique affect of being both re-assuring and troubling at the same time and making wider comment about knowledge acquirement and its delivery.
Problems of Philosophy (2016, ongoing project) Philosophy books, receipt spikes.
In this work (above) antiquarian philosophy books by Rousseau, John Stewart Mill, Bart, Locke and Descartes have been deconstructed and impaled page by page onto receipt spikes – the work speaks of a processing and consumption of knowledge and implies either an act of reading akin to the materialist consumption documented through the collecting of receipts or a violent act which suggests a frustration with this hallowed philosophical canon. Either way, separated from their protective bindings the pages lie limp and languorous. Robert says, ‘Are the texts important, possibly profound? I don’t know, I cannot understand them.‘ Robert has adapted the work for the Shelf Gallery with the inclusion of colourful protective foam beads on the end of each spike – making reference to our young inquisitive household.
Library (2017) Collected books. (below).
Robert says, ‘Library attempts to compile an authoritative set of reference works: an antidote, perhaps, to contemporary anxiety about fake news and post-truth relativism’. The collection is at first, a curiosity that seeks to re-assure, offering a concrete reference archive to balance the fast moving online world of Fake news but on closer inspection, the books themselves reveal doctrines and assumptions of certainty which are profoundly unsettling. ‘The Truth About Gay Marriage’ turns out to be a religious conservative rant full of vitriol and ‘The Truth about Immigration’ is similarly right wing. ‘library’ raises unsettling ideas on the subjectivity of truth but the collection is also in part very humorous, with titles such as ‘The Truth about Chuck Norris’ and ‘The Truth About Cottages’ not failing to raise a smile. If only revelations about the veracity of cottages and martial arts experts were all we needed to worry about…