The Window is Closer Works

The Window is Closer (2016)

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The motor was left to crawl on its own.

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Spare parts from the unrealised automatons.

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Hammer, used to weigh the cables down.

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Closer look at the existing jalousie windows. One panel is not working. The cables went up, then down.

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Speed Controller to the motor, moving along the crawling motor.

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The first intention, unfulfilled.

THE WINDOW IS CLOSER is a site-specific work that responds to firstly, the exhibition space at Mettle Work and secondly, to the curatorial intent, “Dancing On The Spot”. Inspired by the existing metal jalousie windows, the artist INTENDS TO handmadke a set of automatons – moving mechanical devices – to open and close the window panels automatically. The movement would IS TO be powered by a rotating motor, whereby its circular motion would be translated to a linear one, in order to operate the window cranks. The automaton parts also ARE MEANT TO serve as extensions revealing the hidden mechanism of the window panels.

The artist leaves the comfort of her homely metal fabrication shop and takes on the challenge assembling this piece on-site at Mettle Works. Taking a step back, without the convenience of machinery, she adopts a bricolage attitude to intrigue us with a make-shift mechanism for the opening and closing of the window frame and IT FUCKING DID NOT WORK!!!! FUCK!…. This method encourages creativity without the preference for accuracy, and is justified, provided that the mechanism works. WHICH IN THIS CASE IT WASN’T. AT LEAST, NOT YET.

Working at this new place was a handicap. Ultimately the artist decided to return to her metal fabrication shop to solve the issue of making movable automatons. She made a mock up of the window’s mechanism that corresponds to the windows. While figuring things out, she ponders on the portability of her artistic practice. She is uncertain if she should hone her craftsmanship or if she should really just make art. Such a dilemma is never meaningless; for our lives are to be experienced in a way that is honest and true to ourselves.

Embroiled in this work are two intents. The first is unfulfilled: a failed attempt, but presented in its stark entirety. The second is an improvisation, a new makeshift interpretation of the initial idea. The rotating motor is outfitted with a spare part from the automatons, functioning as a leg, affording it the privilege of crawling along the ground. The mechanical drafts for the automatons were left disconnected, visually and mechanically. As the motor crawls in circles, it coils and uncoils its very lifeline — the cable that both suspends it from the ceiling and feeds electricity into itself. A hammer is needed to weigh it down. Two out of four windows are intently left unopened. There was a window with a faulty panel. The remaining automaton parts are laid before each of the windows.

To have intention is to have the capacity of choices. 

“Because art is what it has become, its concept refers to what it does not contain.”1

Every film, photograph and painting is observed through a “window” — the framing of that image. But this differs for installations and site-specific some works. These, instead, are framed through the viewer’s field of vision. It is through their very eyes that they encounter these pieces. These works are experienced in that same reality the viewer resides in — right there in front of them. That window is closer. for a glance.

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Installation View with Karen

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Installation View with Ryan


Exhibition:

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Dancing on the spot with Dzaki Safaruan, Khairul Ikhwan, Lai Yu Tong, Nhawfal Juma’at, Ryan Ben Lee, Tay Ining and Zulkhairi Zulkiflee

Dancing on the spot (link to the exhibition’s writeup)
23th to 30th Jan 2016 at Mettle Work

Opening at 6pm, 23th Jan 2016