08/09/2010-29/09/2010: Michael Stokes - Reservoir
For his second exhibition at STYX Projects in Berlin, Michael Stokes will explore the notions of both an "unpainted landscape" and an "inner landscape" with "Reservoir."
In August 2009, Stokes presented "Transitions," the result of an eight-day exploration of the grounds and neighborhood surrounding the former Friedrichshöhe Brewery, where STYX is housed. All works were created on-site during the days leading up to the opening using found materials from the vicinity, including a number of interactive works that allowed the viewer an opportunity to play an active role in the ongoing re-construction of the exhibition.
"Reservoir," then, can be viewed as a sort of follow-up, which will see the artist spending an expanded eleven-day period creating another site-specific series of works for STYX. Key to this process is the artist's formulation of the gallery space. Stokes suggests, "The art gallery may be perceived as a reflection of the internal space of the artist, becoming a kind of home or reservoir to an inner world. The gallery can be considered as a metaphor for the mind or seashore that items become deposited upon. 'Reservoir' explores the space of the gallery as a necessary container, or reservoir, of imaginary and symbolic contents. A gallery is not a commercial instrument in my view, but a space where the creative unconscious finds form, whether through the art object, or via the performance of creating it."
Process has always been a key component of Stokes's work, which ranges across media and disciplines, encompassing aspects of sculpture, painting, found objects, photography, performance, installation, and video. Common to many of his process-oriented works is the motif of the journey, which often takes on a literal meaning, as shown by both the "Transitions" exhibition and "From 100 Journeys," shown in 2004 at MOMA in Oxford, in which the artist displayed a series of handmade canvas walking shoes that had been used as a tool whilst travelling across various landscapes in the UK. The canvas indexes to these journeys allowed for both the creation and destruction of painting to be experienced at once.
As such, each work by Stokes puts aspects of knowledge in question and is imbued with a narrative component that requires the viewer's engagement in order to discover something new or unseen. The formation of "Reservoir" will chart both a conscious and unconscious activity for the artist, whilst also providing a site for dialogue, or the telling of a story.
Michael Stokes studied Fine Art at Oxford Brookes, Oxford and Fine Art Painting at the Royal College of Art, where he earned his MA. He is currently an Art Psychotherapist in Training in London at Roehampton University. His work has been exhibited throughout the UK and included in exhibitions in Hamburg and Paris. Stokes lives and works in London.
The preparations of "Reservoir" are currently being documented on a blog set up by the artist: http://outofthefoxhole.wordpress.com/
08 September 2010, 7 pm
Fridays to Sundays 3-5 pm or by appointment.