Katie Schwab: Making the Bed, Laying the Table
- Laura Campbell
- 3 August 2016
Glasgow Sculpture Studios proves the importance of its graduate programme with exhibition led by Katie Schwab
Collaboration is both the subject matter and means for producing Making the Bed, Laying the Table with Katie Schwab enlisting the help of friends and family to realise a diverse body of work that deals with the politics of domestic space.
Don't skip the quiet video-work and accompanying publication: by encouraging us to piece together associations from different modes of expression they help us to understand the exhibition as a whole. The video, made collaboratively with Schwab's father Ed Emery, draws our attention to the imperfection of seemingly orderly domestic spaces: the dust, the cracks, and the chance compositions. The bespoke stools arranged round the film are crafted from the same materials used in other areas of the show, signaling to us that we should carry thoughts from one piece to the next. The specially commissioned piece of writing by Rosanna McLaughlin also brings messy and blurry details to the fore, with a vivid portrayal of growing up with siblings in shared bedrooms.
Taking centre stage is the body of work by Florence Dwyer and Simon Worthington made collectively with Schwab that marries art and design to produce new work for 'a future communal home'. Whether or not this 'home' is meant only as a proposition is unclear, but it adds an interesting dimension to objects that teeter between being art objects and just objects. Minimal sculptures are at the same time domestic objects capable of providing a function. The bedframes are like ready-mades conceived in reverse (art first, then function); others are slightly more caricaturish, such as the oversized jesmonite cutlery tray that sits heavily on a bottom 'flat-pack' shelf.
It isn't always clear which artist is behind what; such is the thoroughness of the group's collaborative process. That it barely matters is testament to its success.
Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Wed–Sat until Sat 3 Sep, free.