A project by ITS KIND OF HARD TO EXPLAIN
Hosted and supported by SET
BLUE SKY THINKING at SET CAPSTAN HOUSE, London
Corey Bartle-Sanderson Oliver Durcan Steven Gee Eleanor Pearch Casper Welch
Outsiders to the office, the artists enter as archivists, archaeologists, aliens. Mythologizing mundane symbols and routines, focusing on the background and elevating the ignored. SET Capstan House floats on the seventh floor of a nineties office block in the shadow of Canary Wharf. From manic productivity set out by advanced capitalism, the work thwarts this atmosphere, displaying confusion, humour, irreverence and food. ‘Blue sky thinking’ is office jargon meaning thinking that is not grounded or in touch with the realities of the present. Cloudless, blue and unpolluted. • Metaphorical in nature, Steven’s work focuses on consumption, emptiness and the need to fill some kind of a hole… Have a Break, Have a Kitkat! Idleness and a cyclical consumption combine to evoke an unproductive office environment with health kicks, banter and ‘idea crunching’ filling in for actual work. A recycling of ideas and habits takes place in the work through reference to art history and repeated daily routines. #triggered Corey’s objects elevate ubiquitous symbols such as logos, cigarettes and Haribo sweets. His playful handling of furniture and décor found in corporate environments theatricalize the office. Harnessing an advertising aesthetic with the semantics of ‘spam’, Corey recollects the internet’s overload of rampant meme culture. ᛰ Casper’s paintings are internet objectified. Featuring transient ripples and mayonnaise smeared on screens, the paintings have been produced by a third party and delivered through a complex supply chain. Works are titled in homage to the individuals employed within the E-commerce chain, re-personalising the commodity exchange. They eventually return to the artist’s studio as a Fedex delivery. © Oliver’s work zombifies the artist’s process. Through rendering the Apple default desktop image in traditional oil paint, the urgency of the romantic painter is deflated. In another work an appropriated IKEA installation manual directs ‘The Painter’ as a consumer. The manual constitutes an extrapolated reality where the user becomes trapped in an addictive feedback loop of constant production. #
SET Capstan House, Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BA
Eleanor’s work takes the edge off, using rigid structures and organisational systems as a starting point to end with personal and handmade sculptural pieces. From the banal architectural grids of the Capstan House office to the ignored table of an Excel spreadsheet, Eleanor caricaturises these supports, bringing a renewed physicality and character.
Blue Sky Thinking is the first project by artist-run organisation It’s Kind of Hard to Explain and is hosted and supported by SET.