tom hackett sculpture object in absentia
Presented the viewer with a mass of 600 number sequences, which bounce and refract with natural light from the glass ceiling dome of the PM Gallery, a former public library. At first glance the specific numerical quality of the work is subsumed within its wider form, which evokes and encodes notions of ornate architectural decoration. A closer examination reveals individual number sequences and triggers a secondary level of reading.
Each number sequence represents a Dewey Decimal library coding as found on the spine of a Library book. Each coding is ascribed in relation to an object, and its potential plurality of classifications. Each object was donated or lent by someone resident in the Borough. A photo of a deceased pet rabbit is ascribed to: 129.421 Origin and destiny of original souls, Greater London. A pair of roller blades to:625.742 Roads, England andWales. A tourist model of the Eiffel tower to: 370.117 education for international understanding.
object in absentia presents a playful interrogation of the human need for classification and labels, to consider the parallels and departures of viewer dialogue amongst the shifting priorities of the public art-space and museum context. Installed at pm gallery, re-configured rugby art gallery and yard gallery.
Curated by Valerie Chang and Carol Swords.