9 April – 4 May 2013
To read Michael Moran’s forms as delicate and fragile bodies is to frame them in very particular and to some extent reductive terms. It is to undermine or foreshadow the industrial nature of their material: the poured lead of their bases, the silver welded copper pipe and braised alloy that determines their upright structures. It might be to neglect their means of construction that also finds its origin in industry and suggests forms of work – trades rarely associated with delicacy and fragility. To some extent it distances them from abstract and process based Minimalist practice that their materials and construction would otherwise align them to.
But it is also to acknowledge that any attempt to describe these elemental constructions betrays their anthropomorphism. They are objects but they are figures. They stand bent but upright: sometimes solo, sometimes grouped. A lone head placed at the base of one of these figures is inverted so that it gazes upwards, backwards, but is a head all the same.
Unlike a great deal of historical figurative sculpture these bodies are a mess. They leave slop, lumps, metal leakage at their bases. They rise from floor to ceiling but they do not stand strong and do not command space. They are slight. They do not monumentalise. They are covered in tiny protuberances: miniature, delicately formed little cocks that work counter to the suggestion of virility, masculinity, and monumentality by their ridiculous proliferation and scale.
To read these forms as bodies in space is to open them up to another set of ‘eccentric’ abstract practices. Here they are objects and bodies, and their fallibility is their strength.
Photos: Jamie North