Graphic designer Peter Saville has designed a white cardboard, flatpack plinth, for sale in a limited edition of 200, the idea being that in today’s age of ‘culture for the masses’ we’re all entitled to choose what merits artistic status.
The exhibition showcases the plinths with ‘work’ by a selection of Saville’s peers and friends including Hans Ulrich Obrist, Thomas Demand, Gavin Turk and Jarvis Cocker, each allowed to place whatever they wish on their plinth. The results vary from the sublime (Douglas Gordon’s pile of ash atop a charred plinth) to the inflated (Cerith Wyn Evans’ helium balloon).
It’s not clear if graphic designer exercise is intended as a wry comment on the contemporary art world’s open-armed approach to sculpture but this ambiguity is part of the exhibition’s charm. What’s interesting is that a mundane object sat on a plinth in a gallery space commands a second glance and a moment’s thought, bleakly suggesting that 3-dimensional art might be summed up in the formula: big name plus plinth equals work of art.