Monday, 3 September 2012

THE IMPORTANCE OF SEEING


Andrew Miller's The Waiting Place is not, truly, much of a waiting place as it doesn't include anywhere obvious to sit. But although we may not be encouraged to rest there, in making the seemingly pointless journey through the structure we are made to consider its physical properties more closely - as, in fact, we might do anywhere we are forced to wait.

The through-way of the wooden construction contains no interior event, but for a tree which seems to burst through its roof. It is as if the tree has grown into the structure and through the cast iron roof panels that have been cut roughly to accommodate its branches. There is thus a sense that the structure could have occupied the space before the tree, were we to fabricate our own imagined history of the site. This idea corresponds to the strange timelessness of the architecture - the overlapping cantilevered roof planes suggesting simultaneously Japanese pavilions and primitive huts, whilst the planks of dark wood are arranged in such a way to suggest something of the linearity of Frank Lloyd Wright's domestic designs and his use of textured materials. But these were only my thoughts while I was waiting.



 Today, The Waiting Place, along with all of the wonderful site-specific public installations which formed part of the Edinburgh Art Festival programme, is closed. August is over and we must wait another year for it to come around again. Freshly back in London, and with far fewer exhibitions under my belt as I would have liked (a month of double shifts at the bar-then-burgervan would have proved too taxing I hope even for the most enthusiastic of gallery-goers) I am reminded how important it is to see such works in the flesh. No artist's impression or photograph can come close to conveying the direct experience of a work and the thoughts and personal associations it might provoke.
The 'artist's impression' in the Edinburgh Art Festival programme was far from the reality of the finished installation

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