Walead Beshty – Marginalia “I think of my work as a kind of ecology in the sense that everything that comes out of it is part of the practice and needs to be accounted for. My practice is really a proposition about a possible arrangement of productive forces, a kind of system of relations. The more well-conceived the system, the more it can fully account for all that it produces, and that includes what might seem like by-products.” W. Beshty. In describing the making of his monumental commission at the Barbican Centre in London - thousands of cyanotypes, created over a year, cover the walls of the Curve there -, Walead Beshty virtually revealed the nature of his next show at Thomas Dane Gallery, staged to coincide with his project at the Curve. ‘Marginalia’, taking its name from the comments, scribbles or illuminations in the margins of a book, includes the remnants, props, byproducts, ‘vestiges’ – generally speaking, the works - created through/while/after making other works. Even though this idea is at the very core of his practice: in essence, Beshty always makes art while making art while making art… And even though he often triggers the production of art through infiltrating pre-existing systems, structures, networks and apparatuses (such as X-ray machines at airports, courier companies…etc…), he had never staged an exhibition that illustrated so concisely the virtuous, recycling circle that his artistic production so uniquely embodies. The notion of Hierarchies – whether artistic or economical - is what is fascinatingly at stake here: traditionally, ‘marginalia(s)’ will add or detract the value of a book, according to the author of the notes. Here, the artist himself reveals, as well as upsets, the established values and systems of artmaking, with a series of arresting, facetted new paintings realized as a support or background for the multitude of cyanotypes at the Barbican, which cohabit with aluminum and bronze relics, part negative-space, part leftovers, of his metal surrogates and tables, and a series of 104 X-Ray photographs, realized, literally, while traveling over four years (for shows, events…) and displayed for the first time in their original 5x4in. format.
14 x 8 1/2 inches
Letterpress of all handwritten edits and comments to the press release for the exhibition Marginalia, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 2014.