8/1/2019 - 8/2/2019
Documentation by Lucy Foster
Hidden away on the road to Jerusalem, lies a rocky valley in which a slight fissure cuts between two cliff-faces. Referenced throughout history as an escape route; a place of asylum, the Scene of “Jonathan’s exploit” — a biblical fable — it has been ruled and exploited by various empires, cultures and peoples. The scene is located in mountains “near Michmash”, in present-day Palestine, and depicts a place of metamorphosis. Michmash translates as “Laid Up Place” — a concealed place. Realized here in cerulean blue, Christopher Weir’s image was first scanned from a book. The reconstituted image has then been exposed through a lightbox — having been transferred onto and embedded into the metal of a lithographic plate, to be printed on rag paper. This transformative process parallels the nuanced ways the mountain itself has meta-morphosed.
Weir’s ‘halcyon suite’ references the prevailing contemporary fascination and desire for authentic mid-century design; based in particular on a mirrored timber veneer cabinet inherited from his grandmother. Reimagined and reconstructed here as the repository for the photolithographic print, it now acts as a cabinet within a cabinet – illuminated only by the low light of a single fluorescent tube. Interested in the reductiveness in form that comes with interchangeability and ‘veneering’ – the glass slides in and out; the inscription is only visible in certain lights and angles; the print is framed within, yet remains disconnected from the cabinet — the cabinet’s function itself is reduced to that of a shadow box, or a shelf; a frame for moving parts. Coalescing the materials and tastes of mid-century design with the deep geological time of the landscape and its embedded histories, Weir touches on our fleeting consumptive imprint on the world. Halcyon Suite creates a vessel for impermanence.
- Emma Nixon and Christopher Weir