Saturday, December 9, 2023
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Joanne McClellan on Doug Aitken’s ‘The Source’

Image by Joanne McClellan

The most inspiring experience you will encounter in Liverpool right now (in my opinion) is The Source, with Doug Aitken. If you are willing to invest a little time, you will invest a bit of time in yourself. Doug Aitken speaks to artists, film makers, architects, actors, and musicians all of which are amazingly housed in his first public realm installation. It is a temporary structure, designed in collaboration with David Adjaye,  the British architect.  The skill in which the building has been designed and how it converts into a spectacular installation that comes alive in the dark hours over the dock is something to be desired. The projections are seen from the outside, so the piece now becomes functional without having to enter.  Making individual public spaces, separate from the galleries leads on to new forms of practise in art. Post Autonomy is breaking boundaries within Eurocentric traditions. It’s happening everywhere, in contemporary fields largely with new technologies such as VJing.

Image by Joanne McClellan

Aside from ground breaking artistic developments that Doug Aitkens existing work comprises, this particular role in these interviews are so important, as in order to get information that is part of creative’s most sensitive and inexplicable areas within themselves, you have to first understand creative dialogue and how it is expelled. To grab a hold of an idea, and keep it and develop it can be difficult. Doug extracts the information out of these creative’s with gentle persuasion, using his own experience and knowledge of his own practise, thoughts, development processes right to the finished article, which he describes in his interview with the late Mike Kelly as something that can disappear once you have come to a conclusion. Mike Kelly tells us that sometimes as time goes on, he would revisit ideas and conclusions and develop them some more, like evolution.  Connecting a lot of creative practise at the point of ‘The Source’ is like watching the seed grow. From an ontologically creative mind coupled with certain creative outputs and developments, the ideas form and take shape to whatever output you most favour.

Image by Joanna McClellan

The conversations and work that comes from all of these very in tuned people is awe inspiring and can evoke something innate in people who don’t necessarily claim themselves to be creative, to invest themselves in this, and maybe discover something new about themselves.