Sam Porritt: A Certain Change
15. September 2018 – 27. Januar 2019
Sam Porritt’s first solo exhibition with the gallery in Basel, exhibiting a new series of works made with the space in mind and exploring ideas of limitlessness and directionality.
The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a sculpture of a lighthouse. Human in scale, the work will turn in its entirety as it casts out a light, the moving beam of light falling on interior walls and out into the surrounding public space.
Porritt describes his approach to the unique VITRINE space as wanting to create a site-responsive work that would turn, move and animate the space which after a time led him to the lighthouse. He was also drawn to the motif of the lighthouse for its symbolic associations; providing a guiding light in a disorientating and changeable environment they stand defiant in stormy seas, singular against the horizon, beacons that warn of the dangers beneath them.
Referencing both individual and shared histories, Porritt’s work in drawing, sculpture, text, the moving image, and performance, is largely concerned with human agency and its associated ethical implications. For ‘A Certain Change’ sculptural works will be accompanied by drawings that continue off the paper in all directions. Using no more than the drawn line these works achieve an ordered chaos akin to the play of light on water.
For the past decade, drawing has been a constant in Porritt’s wide-ranging practice, he uses it to detect and root out the underlying and interlocking logic of things. This is most apparent with his drawings of invented patterns which at first can appear simple but gain in complexity the more you look at them.
The artist’s intention that the lighthouse is read as a metaphor is compounded by it being shown here in Switzerland; Basel being home to the only seaport of an otherwise landlocked country. The human height of the lighthouse lends the sculpture a melancholic air and at the same time, there is a strange comfort to be taken in watching it stoically maintain its lonely vigil.