Exhibitions2004Domestic (f)utility

Domestic (f)utility

20 Mar 04

New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery Roche Court

The exhibition brought together twelve international artists whose work, in the context of the artists' house at Roche Court, explored and played with notions of the domestic object and its function. Taking as its starting point the writings of Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913), who investigated the relationship between an object and its name and function, the New Art Centre transformed the Artists' House into a place where domesticity is no longer quite what it seems.

Gavin Turk's polystyrene cups cast in bronze and Anya Gallaccio's exquisite porcelain apples deny function through a change in medium. Their realism seduces us only to confound our expectations when we recognise the material: 'Ceci n'est pas une pomme', as Magritte said.

Koichiro Yamamoto's solid glass teapots and Barnaby Barford's fused milk jugs make futile attempts to pour tea into Cecile Johnson Soliz's beautiful, unglazed ceramic vessels. This negation of function through form leaves us amazed and bewildered.

These imaginative and beautifully made objects had their meaning distorted or denied through a change of context, medium or form. Set in the domestic environment of the Artists' House, they looked at once 'at home' and yet strangely out of place. Non-functional and dysfunctional, marooned in a place where they no longer quite belong, they remain very much objects to desire.

Other featured artists included LEO, Lisa Milroy, Emma Woffenden, Gereon Krebber, Susan Cutts, and Nina Saunders.