gold standard II adventures in the glove box

Hand in Glove are a group of Bristol artists, they had an empty shop for four weeks, The Glove Box, and filled it with an amazing diversity of shows over that time. I suggested they might like to fill it with golden boxes for a day – they agreed. The shop has two rooms connected by three stairs.  Gold Standard was organised to make an environment with no real exterior. Henge-like arches curved through the lower room leading to the stairs. From the doorway to the next room a narrow corridor of boxes led towards and past the floor to ceiling window before turning back into the interior, so viewers had become part of the window display.

For this event I wrote:

Huge and monumental, but flimsy, Gold Standard dominates its space through size and forces people to negotiate around it. It makes assertions and promises it is in no position to keep, convinced that its ersatz glitz and cheap glamour will overcome all objections. It demands respect, is not given authority but takes it.

Glove Box, the window

Glove Box, the front door

In the Glove Box

Henge-style arches

Into the shop window

We advertised a ‘ceremonial destruction’ for the end of the day, an important part of the installation. It is a gesture of dealing with the installation not on its terms, but on terms from a dimension of which it has no understanding.Thinking about The Trial by Kafka, the hero, K, acquiesces to laws which he infers from his dealings with his prosecutors. In the penultimate scene he is told a story by a priest, which suggests that there is no necessity for him to submit to the impending judgement if he can look beyond these rules, out of their dimension, if he can ask the right questions. In essence he is seen as a voluntarily participant in his fate. So the destruction of Gold Standard is a refusal to abide by its rules, to be seduced by its cheap glamour.

Destruction progresses

Gold Standard has further to go, a simple labyrinth perhaps, where an obvious entrance does not give access to a visible centre whereas a less obvious one might do so; or again it might not… I would like to try setting it up in a more confined space, where one would not be able to see or foresee the journey laid out through the installation. A vision of golden boxes spread by wind in the open air is also one I find interesting. Here the boxes would be at the mercy of the weather, out of their element, becoming litter and detritus; another short-term installation.


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