Monkeys. Where to start with the monkeys? all the weeks of fretting about gears and mechanisms has boiled down to a few finalised monkeys, and together with the odd evolution of the Semi Detached Cinema it’s odd to think that this started with the rehashing of old ideas and enough gingerbread to feed the armies of Lapland.
From the beginnings of the coffee monkey i’d always felt the need to include some form of automata – he had the right balance of sweet and sinister: it’s entirely conceivable that he could be given as a toy, but there was something tremendously odd about him… plus i’d always considered the coffee monkey to caper in a similar fashion to the cymbal monkeys of old. I was also reminded of Chris Cunningham’s ‘Monkey Drummer’:
as well as the off kilter world of Jan Svankmajer, whose particular style of stop motion animation has always left me eerily fascinated ‘Punch and Judy’ (1966) starts with a particularly appropriate monkey orchestra…
But essentially i had three automata monkeys that worked (in my opinion). First up! the rolling monkey (in his sack of beans);
Next! the melancholic monkey on her hill of beans:
and finally, the acrobatic monkey dancer!
and yes, she has…. a crown of beans. And for a demonstration of what they’re like when they’re working:
While working on this project I’ve been amazed at the variety and beauty that resides within the parameters of kinetic art –
Jean Tinguely – Requiem pour une feuille morte (1967)
Len Lye – Flip and Two Twisters (1977)
this diversity extends to individual members of kinetic arts groups – for example, Applied Kinetic Arts;
Ben Cowden – Penelope’s Cousin
Nemo Gould – Head Case (2009)
Tom Haney – Music Box No. 1
Another of my favourite examples of the creepiness of such broken down toys is Julie Lawrences ‘Ballerina Story’ (2009):
Yes, suffice it to say, this blog could go on forever. So onto the Semi Detached Cinema!
Although the name doesn’t sit right. It began as The Gingerbread Cinema, inspired in part by Yoke and Zooms ‘Gingerbread Gallery’ (2010)
I really liked the idea of such an object being functional too – i.e. a gallery that essentially is artwork also displaying artwork, hence the gingerbread cinema actually showing films. However, i feel what i finally came up with beat that rather flimsy idea:
I must admit i do like the fact that the main body of the piece is made of only those elements required to spy on ones neighbours. I was also vastly inspired when I got to see Mike Nelsons ‘Coral Reef’, which gave me the impetus to experiment with spaces within space (albeit on a far smaller scale)
Mike Nelson – ‘The Coral Reef’ (2000)
So anyway – on the whole I’m really pleased with how this whole project has turned out – while i’m not sure that I’d be happy to exhibit any of these as they are it’s a case of remaking them neatly, rather than coming up with something new. And now, to Gin!