Mike Nelson‘s work includes a lot of installation work that is really fascinating because of how his constructions work within the gallery space.
This piece is called In Memory of H.P Lovecraft – dedicated to the American author of horror novels H.P Lovecraft. The space itself, once refined and clean, now in a state of destruction and anarchy as if the damage and the holes in the wall have been newly made. You can tell that he has thought about all parameters of the space – its size, its layout, its layout- by the fact that the holes are much larger than us in some cases are higher up on the wall indicating that something that is much bigger and stronger than us has been here – maybe something supernatural. You walk in through this walkway where it seems as if thing that made these impressions in the walls has got in but has had trouble getting out.
Quiver of Arrows, 2010
Again, here Nelson uses the height of the space to raising the height of the space, putting the trailers on stilts making them immobile in contradiction to their initial use. The trailers themselves, positioned specifically within the space, instead of pointing outward where there is this idea of looking forward, they are all interconnected and point inward to each other.
Nelson is making a comment on our economic circumstances we have been through whilst at the same time looking at our shared notions of the 1960’s, 70’s and the present day – the boom era then the recession. The effects of these leave us in standstill – immobile.
The trailers themselves, rough on the outside – battered and bruised on the inside – where the remains of abandonment from their owners are visible. Objects from each time period appear around the trailers.
Very much like what happened after the money supply expansion of the 1960s (and of course similar ones of recent years), the current post-boom “contraction” resembles very clearly the insular quality of the actual work: four airstream trailers assembled together in an inward-facing fashion, and without means of transportation (wheels). A perfect analogue to the current post-boom era we’ve found ourselves in.
This is recreation Nelson made of an installation he did in 1998. Nelson is able to use the space and all its parameters featuring visually interesting materials and is able to use different mediums within the space – i.e. buildings materials/the gallery infrastructure an make that become part of the installation.
TRADING STATION ALPHA CMa, 1996