Dwelling and narcissism: displacement of shadows

Chilver, J (2007) 'Dwelling and narcissism: displacement of shadows.' Art Papers, 31 (1). pp. 36-42. ISSN 1524-9581

Item Type: Article

This was a feature article for the Atlanta, Georgia-based journal Art Papers. The article addressed an aspect of contemporary art practice neglected by critical commentary, and it brought together a number of artworks whose interlinkages had been overlooked. The article considers the rise of the projected shadow in art of the 1990s and 2000s. Tracing the deployment of shadows (both real and depicted) in works by Rist, Noble and Webster, McKenzie, Alÿs, Valldosera, Kessler, Kelly and others, the argument is developed that an increasing fascination with the projected shadow in art co-incides with a proliferation of shadowless spaces in architecture, roughly equivalent to the spaces described by the anthropologist Marc Augé as 'non-places' (such as airport departure lounges, shopping malls, supermarkets). The text argues that the advantage of the cast shadow is to construct a manifestly peformative and manifestly contingent icon that acknowledges architectural conditions of display. The text contends that in its excessive response to the shadowless non-place, the shadow icon of recent art must be read in its relation to narcissism.
The issues addressed in this text connect closely with concerns of my current 'studio' practice, that increasingly require examination of conditions of display, as evidenced in works shown in the group exhibition 'Verdunklung/ Darkening', Kunstlerhaus, Stuttgart, 2006.

Divisions: Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2012 04:45
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:32
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/191
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