Yesterday I went to Gloucester to see the 'Crucible' , an exhibition of sculpture at the cathedral. I jotted down these notes whilst drinking tea and eating a very good panini:
spiritual worship v material worship
the secularisation of sacred space?
art of the past v art of the present
sacred space - God's v mammon
is the artist more important than the work? Do we want to see 'a' Damien Hirst/ Anthony Gormley or 'the' work of art itself
this is a cathedral, a house of God, the spectators are viewing architecture and sculpture. Does this change/diminish the buildings function?
where does spirituality fit in? What definition/s of spirituality are relevant here - religious spirituality? transcendental spirituality? spirituality inspired by beauty, awe...?
does the sculpture change the meaning of the cathedral?
does the cathedral change the meaning of the art? In both cases I think yes, definately.
My overall conclusion is that the display of the sculptures in this setting made it really interesting as an exhibition. I would like to see it in again in a gallery space in order to compare my own reactions to the pieces of work, especially in terms of their display. Would the sculptures have a greater potency if they were displayed in isolation? Wherever they were presented questions of meaning would arise not only in terms of place but also in terms of their relationship with the other works around them.
I would also liked to have been able to buy a copy of the catalogue that accompanied the exhibition but the organisers vastly underestimated the number of people that would visit and quickly sold the 3,000 copies printed. It would have been nice to read more about the exhibits and to have had arecord of the titles of the works and their artists.