Jack Brown: Deed Poll
“I’ve chosen to make a submission to the Laurence Sterne Trust and Shandy Hal as I was drawn to the humour and wit within Laurence Sterne writing and the particular if not peculiar fact that Shandy Hall has a live-in custodian.
Across its nine volumes, The Life and Options of Tristran Shandy, Gentleman struggles to get to the point, it rambles, its silly and challenging. It can sometimes feel dusty, ancient, from somewhere else, but them jumps back to now, to us, to our contemporary struggle to make sense of the world. Its a disorientating read that deserves a disorientating response.
I propose to change the live-in custodians name to Tristram Shandy by deed poll.
This act/intervention would open up new confusions, conversations, and anachronistic relationships. It would enliven the visitors experience while blurring fiction and fact, past and present.
I envisage the work initially being recorded in a number of mediums; video, photography, correspondence between the live-in custodian and myself, maybe audio recording of conversations with the public, possibly entrees in the visitor book. As this would be a very direct intervention in someone’s working live, I’d have to tread carefully, see what works, what captures this intervention best. Once the project has begun, once the name change has taken place, a mode of operation will surface, and I’ll be able to sift through the various means of documentation and their results to build a coherent story of the intervention and its outcomes.”
I am a contemporary artist, working across a range of mediums, based in the U.K. My work looks at the overlooked, things that should be given more than a passing glance, moments that would benefit from magnification. The works I make are often found, realised, made or placed in the public realm. I also work with other people; collaborate, teach, coordinate, lead public realm projects and facilitate artist networks. As a counterbalance to direct interactions that punctuate my public projects, my work plays with ideas of placement, slightness, observation and distant collaborations.
Palm sized constellations made of plasticine and chicken wire, brass rings attached to cylindrical objects in the public realm, found notes becoming silk hankies, holding up a sculpture in a carpark, artworks made out of the grease marks left on bus windows by passenger’s hair, sprawling schools projects about the power of collective construction, looped videos of people’s movements and gestures, hanging trinkets in street grids, posting artworks to people without telling them who it’s from, working with 20 investment bankers to make a room filling painting about mistakes. Interventions in the wider world, collaborations and manipulations; my practice can be seen as an investigation into ways of making and how those made objects or moments interact with the world around them.