'ELBA', Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow, 02/07—15/08/2010
Glasgow Print Studio is pleased to present ELBA, a solo exhibition by Glasgow-based artist Scott Myles. The new installation includes a series of constructed paper sculptures produced at the Print Studio and shown here for the first time. Formally, the hand-made folders have a relationship to seriality, post-minimalism and colour-field painting. Each one is a unique simulacra of an Elba document folder. Instead of using manilla paper however, Myles has screen-printed each colour and logo bringing about the large-scale replicas. In effect Myles is making public a private system for compartmentalizing information. Currently nothing is contained within the folders, they hint at potential, as containers for unspecified objects. The trade name Elba is also the name of the Mediterranean island in Italy where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled in 1814. In effect, the island of Elba became a prison, a form of containment for Napoleon.
Myles presents two new works HOT SAND and BOTH AND from his ongoing series of fluorescent text works. Initially, referencing generic instructional signage, Myles? most recent works explore language through repetition and word play. BOTH AND makes reference to American architect Robert Venturi, author of Learning from Las Vegas (1972), a significant treatise on the sign, and form and function in Architecture. Faced with a choice, Venturi chooses both/and in opposition to either/or. HOT SAND openly posits simultaneous meanings, including physical sensations of the beach, and the industrial process of making glass or mirror. Myles' sign functions as a crossroads, it oscillates between a warning and a physical recollection or memory.
2010 is a new sculpture in which Myles has written in ink both forwards and backwards onto a poster by the late Cuban/American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The poster is contained within a specially constructed perspex box, and is supported by a gold anodized aluminium structure that uses both the wall and floor for support. The artwork references modes of museological display. Myles has previously described the leg as being somewhat neurotic, it literally holds up his fragile construction, making more explicit the complicated re-presentation of Gonzalez-Torres' poster. A lineage of ideas can be traced through Myles' production as an artist. Previously he has adopted forms and ideas associated with brand names such as ASKIT, (a common painkiller) and STABILA, (a German manufacturer of spirit levels). It could be argued that Myles' appropriation of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' posters are also a form of re-branding.
A new suite of prints titled The Meaning of Return (Mirror) (2010) depicts an array of sculpturalobjects laid out across an expansive floor. The sculptures have been produced using both found objects and precisely fabricated components. The end wall of the room is mirrored, while the other walls have barres running horizontally around the perimeter. Upon inspection it becomes apparent that the setting for the screen prints is a ballet studio. Ballet can be thought of as a form of artistic dance, in which the graceful flowing movements are based on conventional positions and steps. The ballet studio is a location where practice and rehearsal occurs- where performance comes into being. Myles makes a connection between the ballet studio and his studio as a process of rehearsal and production; in place of dancing figures is a sculptural tableaux. Yet, his sculptures appear to infer a problem, be it one of visibility. Symbolically too, the horizontal handrail running around the room suggests a need for stability and support. His new sculptures appear to be attempting to make sense of themselves through their reflection or mirror image, not unlike Lacan's psychoanalytic theory of the Mirror Stage. The printed silver field of the prints can be likened to the silvering of the reverse side of glass used to make mirror, and suggests an allusion to film. In one print, two plinths stand side by side upon the floor, their presence is again doubled and reflected in a mirror producing a kind of impersonation.