29 April – 24 May 2015
Experiments in Natural Philosophy
This new body of work draws on an ongoing series of balloon inspired sculptures featured in Oooh (2013) and He knows at any moment it may be lost in a vertical field (2012), which feature balloons that droop and slump as the force of gravity appears to bear down upon them. The works making up Experiments in Natural Philosophy continue Robinson’s inquiry into sculptural presence, materiality and conditions of audience reception. The exhibition features a new series of rope sculptures, experiments in an uncanny realism that unfurl fluidly against the floor, yet rise up vertically challenging the physical laws to which they are subjected. Large balloon sculptures combine a form of proto-engineering with weird yet wonderful studies in comparative materiality.
In conceiving this body of work Robinson references the history of science, and Natural Philosophy, a predecessor of modern science that had yet to dismiss the concept of nature. Natural Philosophy was a conception of nature, according to the philosopher Isabelle Stengers, ‘as not just what we can perceive and can identify but the whole indefinite complexity of what we are aware of, even if we have no words to name it.’ In this sense, Robinson covertly and with a deft touch renders imaginary forces visible of which we are unaware, yet appear natural to conventional observation.