MAstars 2005: Carol Sommer, MA Fine Art

MAstars 2005: Carol Sommer, MA Fine Art Carol Sommer, Saints and Artists (detail), 2005, adhesive letters

David Butler selects Carol Sommer from Northumbria University for MAstars

Sommer's work for the show was a kind of visual critique of the novels of Iris Murdoch. So, in one way it was art about art, but it manifested that as a piece of very rigorous critique presented in a non-literary format. It is looking at literary novels (eg as opposed to genre writing) which focuses on characterisation the works subject is also the human condition. So the work, which is a large four room installation, also functions as a kind of sociological survey. It takes characters, incidents etc and analyses them in quasi-sociological terms (eg 33% of swimmers are artists). It presents these data as lists, pictures, tables and objetcs (eg little lumpy sculptures with flags stuck in them to show where characters took themselves to at the end of novels only one to the UK etc). The work is almost tediously obsessive but, in the end, the obsessiveness impresses through its rigour and hard work. Its also quite quirky and, I feel, relieves it potential tedium through being both serious and tongue in cheek.

Selected by David Butler
Published December, 2005

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