Inverted Monument: Centre for Print Research collaboration with Do Ho Suh


The Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York has opened an exhibition of new work by artist Do Ho Suh, expanding on his exploration of the politics and subjectivity of memory, a concept that has remained central to his practice over the last 25 years. The exhibition features Inverted Monument (2022), a large-scale sculpture made of extruded thermoplastic polyester developed as part of an ongoing research project with a robotics team at the Centre for Print Research.

Combining robotic and analogue techniques, this project arose over the course of the pandemic and demonstrates the artist’s interest in questioning the authority and agency of the artist’s hand. Intricately rendered, tangible yet diaphanous, Inverted Monument draws on generalized concepts of an “ideal” monument based on the lexicon of Western statuary and the power structures it upholds. The requisite commemorative figure is positioned upside down within the body of a classically proportioned pedestal, the top of the figure’s head grazing its base. Here, Suh redirects the viewer’s gaze from the top of the pedestal to its very bottom, turning the logic of the public monument on its head and challenging what and who we choose to elevate in civic spaces.

Do Ho Suh
Installation View
September 8–October 29, 2022
Lehmann Maupin New York
Photo by Daniel Kukla
Image source
Do Ho Suh
Installation View
September 8–October 29, 2022
Lehmann Maupin New York
Photo by Daniel Kukla
Image source

Article source: https://www.lehmannmaupin.com/exhibitions/do-ho-suh11/press-release


The project team at CFPR was led by Fabio D’Agnano with Carinna Parraman, Andy Johnson, Michael Joyce-Badea, Mike White, Sonny Lightfoot and Tom McDonagh.

The task was challenging, as it was about printing a complex geometry in three dimensions, without slicing the geometry into layers but following the lines, like if it was drawing, or sewing in the air. The intricate pattern of thin lines, made of extruded filaments, defines a geometry that is both solid and yet transparent. The subject is an abstract combination of different archetypal western male figures blended to form a blurred but defined main figure, and a classic pedestal. The figure does not stand, as you would expect, on top of the pedestal, but it is instead included, upside down, inside the pedestal box. The name of the sculpture is clear: Inverted Monument, and it follows the path started by Do Ho Suh in 1998 with Public Figures, exploring what he refers to as the “self-authorizing framework” of the pedestal.

The collaboration started during the pandemic and CFPR provided technical expertise as the work required a non-traditional approach to 3D printing, based on a fully three-dimensional print and not on a combination of 2D slices, as usual. This entailed many difficulties, in the handling of supports during printing and especially because of the massive size of the object. Along with the technical challenges, there is always the visual component that has to be controlled to respond to the artist’s poetics. This combination of craft and technology is the signature of the UWE Bristol Print Centre, always balancing technology and creativity.

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