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Ian Robertson
Aichi International Exposition 2005


Toyota Municipal Museum of Art

July 5 - 17, 2005

24 pieces in exhibition, artist's talk and symposium participation


This project expands on themes evolved and developed over the last four years. It utilises images and models of sites of social and political significance e.g. the Israeli "Security Wall", incorporating them into a visually discursive artwork, asking the spectator to make links across time and geography, politics and culture.

Rationale: Place/space is open to multiple readings, saturated with histories and competing narratives. Our experience and perception of place is imbued with memory, expectation and desire. As real spatial relations and social relations arise together they engender social stratification and "relations of difference", of class, gender and race. The research question being asked is: How do the visual arts contribute to the continuation of these categories through inherited systems of representation, or can the artwork suggest new modes of relationship?

Context: The research is situated in a continuing tradition of art that addresses social issues without abandoning the aesthetic dimension. It continues to place a value on formal organisation in the presentation of content.

Method: Bringing together in one work a number of systems of representation, comprised of wall and table drawings with models, boxed models with prints & photographic elements, notes & text. Showing and contrasting various places that have been witness to historic events and conflicts, e.g. the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands as a result in part of the Clearances, the new apartheid in Israel as a result of the partitioning wall.

Slideshow: Ian Robertson - Aichi International Exposition 2005

Text by Eyal Weizman from his study of the politics of Israeli Architecture in A Civilian Occupation are incorporated. Modelling and referencing place as the site of ideology but also as the sites/sights of the imagination where the border between the real and the imagined are explored in a work engaging with place and its utopian and dystopian aspects.

A symposium, Arts & Ecology, took place at the gallery on July 10. Robertson participated in a round table discussion: Is the role of art to devise pragmatic solutions?

back to Ian Robertson home page

London Metropolitan University