MARK HARRIS: PRO PATRIA - A CONTINUOUS SERIES 2009-2015 - press release
24th April 2015 - 31st May 2015
The Continuous Series is a body of collages, prints and sculptures that were created over the past 6 years. Initially influenced by the global architectural visions of the 1960’s, in particular the Italian architect group Superstudio and Constant Nieuwenhuy’s New Babylon, the work explored the idea of a Continuous Defence, a global Hadrian’s Wall. It depicted a never-ending barrier that crossed an undefined historical, present or future landscape. For Harris the barriers were also a metaphor for the difficult but rewarding act of crossing artistic disciplines and practices between the artist, the architect and the designer. His practice is driven by an interest in the Continuous Movement of the materials and processes of printed matter; from it’s beginning as one of thousands in a mass commercial print market, to a unique and forgotten item of ephemera. The unwanted book at its final resting place re-discovered and then re-appropriated into collages and prints, back to a multiple, is a constant catalyst. The recent Continuous State series revisits themes of Utopian landscapes and architecture. The architectonic three-dimensional work is made from the covers of books, the foundations which protect and contain knowledge. Like the many past unrealized architectural projects such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre, they are imagined schemes of future social and political planning.
“To-day architects are concerned with human needs, but there is still exploration to be made on that tenuous border between art and architecture where the abstract artist and the architect speak a common language. Architecture must be left to the architect. Is the artist to remain a chamber architect or a back-room boy, or is there a real place for him in architecture? By its very nature such an architectonic art can have something to offer the architect, since it is pure and not utilitarian". Mary Martin, Artist 1957
The absorbing collages of Mark Harris salvage utopian thought from the forgotten pages of history. The artist uses old library books as his source material: abandoned, discarded and rejected repositories of knowledge and ideologies that have been…