This Is Not A Pipe

Blown glass on steel table.

160 x 1260 x 820 mm


‘This Is Not a Pipe’ The exhaust pipe, which carries noxious gases, can be imagined as metaphor for both breathing and exhaustion. The pregnant, snake-like object is an anthropological mirror to societies addiction to roads and transportation, that consume natural resources and create air pollution. This glass work recalls Gavin Turk’s series of ‘real’ exhaust pipes that are cast in bronze and convincingly painted to resemble the dirty, rusty iron and alloy pipes that they once were. Gavin Turk points us to Marcel Duchamp's readymade’s whilst also referring to the ‘this is not a pipe’, pipe of Rene Magritte and a symbol of more innocent times, where Bertrand Russell and his fellow intellectuals puffed their way to enlightenment and the Brave New World. This reflexive artwork is itself formed by being heated in a furnace (with integral chimney) then transferred to a blowpipe and using the exhalation of breath to blow the glass. Whilst the exquisite, choreographed ballet of twisting, blowing, turning around the bench, tools and temperature control creates the piece into the desired shape.