Thursday, 19 July 2012

John Gerrard - Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez/Richfield, Kansas)

John Gerrard Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez/Richfield, Kansas)
Irish artist John Gerrard creates elaborate and complex computer simulatations of entire environments. The works address humanity's relationship to time and the environment, depicting seens of large-scale industrial development such as oil digging, and in this piece, a grain store, in real time simulated environments. The site depicted here used to be one of America's most oil-rich areas. The work meditates upon  the relationships between the power, wealth, oil and trade.

The computer simulations evolve in real time and once set running are alllowed to carry out their course. Angelo Martinez - referred to in the title - is the small figure painting the barn black with an oil stick. The scene runs 24 hours a day, and Martinez will paint from dawn until Dusk for 6 days per week, until 2038, on the day America is expected to run out of oil. After this point his work will be be complete and will continue to exist in this virtual parrellel universe as a 'finished piece'. 

Oil Stick Work is part of a body of work called Animated Scenes, it has been exhibited at institutions globally, including at the Venice Biennale in 2009, and in Canary Wharf, London as part of Art on the Underground program (below), where it was exhibited for an entire calendar year 2010 - 2011.