John Gerrard, Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez, Richfield, Kansas) 2008
The Irish artist John Gerrard will exhibit a large-scale projection of Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas) 2008 in Canary Wharf Underground station.
Projected on a 12m x 8m wall specially constructed inside the iconic ticket hall, Oil Stick Work develops in real time over a 30 year period. At the centre of the work is an industrial grain silo situated in open prairieland. This vista is constructed from collected digital photographs and topographies of an existing American landscape, mapped onto carefully reconstructed 3D forms. A human actor, Angelo Martinez, (also digitally reconfigured in the work) arrives for work every day at dawn (CST) and departs at sunset. His daily task is to paint a precise one metre square on the facade of the silo with an oil stick.
Over the 30 year course of the work Angelo will painstakingly paint the entire building black, to form a silhouette at the heart of the landscape. In 2038, his work completed, he will leave and not return. The scene will continue to unfold, transformed, in perpetuity.
Inserted into the foundations of the vast Canary Wharf financial complex, this virtual representation of an agri-industrial landscape and Angelo's labours are juxtaposed with the activity above ground. The work offers a departure into a landscape that encourages a meditation on labour, materials and time. Visitors and commuters are invited by Art on the Underground to witness the gradual, daily progress of this work over the course of the year that the work is installed at the station.