Michael Wilkinson ‘Never Works’

Installation view, 'Never Works', Le Temple, Paris, 2011
Le Temple, Paris

A collection of new canvasses, etched mirrors and sculptural pieces organized around the artist’s on-going interest in reversals, inversions and counter-revolutions.

The title of the exhibition is a play on Guy Debord’s famous Ne travaillez Jamais graffiti of 1953, inverted reproductions of which feature throughout the work. Debord also provides an oblique starting point for the mountaineering image that accompanies the show; the cover of Christopher Gray’s book Leaving the 20th Century, which shows a climber crossing a precarious ice bridge juxtaposed with the quote, “We are only concerned with the moments when life shatters the glaciation of survival.”

The mountaineering motif continues in the contents of a vitrine on display in the show — a Karrimor rucksack and felt bed roll — as well as in a ‘red sculpture’ consisting of a Robin Day chair, a mountaineering jacket and an Olivetti Valentine typewriter.

The show also includes the latest in a series of hanging tape pieces inspired by the Taliban practise of confiscating pop tapes and unspooling them in trees. The tapes used here are the studio soundtrack to Highway, a religious program shown on television in the UK during the 1980s.