I’m fascinated by the impulse to accumulate – materials, social connections, information, public recognition and other collections. What separates supposedly healthy behaviour and obsession? How much is enough? Merz work, 2015- is an ongoing installation of brooches or badges, the surface area of which increases in the order of the Fibonacci series, from a single element to one the size of a shield. The title refers both to Italian artist Mario Merz, particularly his work ‘Untitled (A Real Sum is a Sum of People)’, 1972, and to Kurt Schwitters, whose Merzbau installation grew to engulf the rooms of his family home in Hanover (19223-1937).
The works, constructed from Cuisenaire rods (an educational toy designed to help students learn mathematics), are accompanied by a rotating series of performance photographs depicting the scale of the brooches against the body. More are added to the series as I discover a new source of the rods. On the wall, the changing scale also invites reflection on the point at which the pieces transition from jewellery to art object and from object to depiction.
Photographs Brenton McGeachie
© Dierdre Pearce