In Our Love is Like the Earth, the Sun, the Trees and the Birth Martin Boyce created an environment that formed a quiet, poetic sensibility. The title is taken from a verse of a song by the seminal 1980’s Manchester band New Order. Sculptures reminiscent of a modernist day bed are used in both exhibitions, as is a series of fluorescent light sculptures that evoke young tree-like saplings. Ventilation Grills for an Apartment Building (2002) is interspersed along the gallery walls, etched with words from a poem by John Donne. The stanza reads: “License my roving hands, and let them go, Before, behind, between, above, below”. The three suspended objects in In Dreams (2002), an Alexander Calder-like mobile, are from a cut up and reworked leg splint designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the US Navy in 1942.
The sculptural work and installation practices of Scottish artist Martin Boyce interrupt and corrupt ideals around the purity and utopianism of modernism and modernist design. He has re-deployed signature modernist furniture pieces, for instance, in anti-heroic or idiosyncratic postures. In Double Black Disaster (1999), an Eames chair is put to work as a door jam. In another recent installation, he created a spider web of fluorescent light tubes in a gallery ceiling. Boyce created an installation specifically for the CAG, which was developed in conjunction with Glasgow’s Tramway, where Boyce’s work was featured in the fall of 2002.
Boyce’s proposal for the CAG began with the installation of air ducts in the gallery walls. Behind each was a fan whose oscillating back and forth motion created the effect of a breathing room. A number of other elements added to this anthropomorphization of the gallery space.
Published in 2003 by The Contemporary Art Gallery and Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland this publication: Martin Boyce, This Place is Dreaming includes an interview between the artist and Vancouver writer Douglas Coupland and an essay Dead Modern by Douglas Coupland. Also included is an essay Sneaky Feelings by Raymond Macdonald.
This publication accompanied the two exhibitions, Our Love is like the Earth, the Sun, the Trees and the Birth, at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, January 17 to March 2, 2003 and Our Love is like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours at Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland, November 22, 2002 to January 19, 2003.