Saturday, 5 September 2009

Wall of Sound

I popped along to the Central Saint Martins degree show a few days ago with a friend. A regular at the pub she works in had just completed an MA in Fine Art, she mentioned to me he used to do something in fashion. It was only Robert Cary-Williams for goodness sake! After negotiating the maze that is CSM we finally found his work, and the man himself hovering close by. He greeted us, and, after a quick chat invited us to go in and have a look before saying "it looks like a bloody pop video" and disappearing.

The press release says "viewers enter an echo chamber, a darkened space interrupted by dysfunctional florescent tubes" The image above was the shadow cast on the wall by the scaffold like structure. This and the flickering old TV set were the only lights in the room and I found both eerily mesmerizing. Another viewer said she found it calming, as if you could watch it for hours and not realise where the time had gone.

It is, perhaps characteristically of Cary-Williams, very industrial and quite sharp. There was only a small space to stand and view the piece even though it filled the room. It is not interactive, you cannot walk around it or touch it, a physical barrier is created between the instillation and the viewer. As for it being like 'a pop video', I did think it could be used to beautiful effect for a fashion shoot... but then it would be a mere fashion prop rather than a piece of fine art. And I don't think Cary-Williams would want his art to play second fiddle to his fashion.

Picture: 'Wall of Sound 223.5 x 254 x 215.9. Within a room 6m x 4m (darkness)

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