Max Longhurst (He/Him)
One question presides over my practice- how do we communicate and document our own legacy? The personal translation or quantification of time is imperative to this, how history will always be convoluted, set in contrast to the objective straight-cut historical narratives generally taught. Looking forwards and back, I seek, make, and invent historically charged objects, setting these objects in relation to each other. They work didactically, allowing the participant to read the work in a non-linear web, attempting to portray narratives inherently human.
Collaboration is intrinsic to my practice. Often I find myself in the role of facilitator, to enable individuals to act as participants within artworks. Rumour and other informal methods of communication are active parts in my work, exploring alternate ways of archiving and documentation. Projects begin and are informed through research, broadly encompassing themes ranging from the unintended use of google maps to elevate objective viewpoints, to the future of space colonization. Outcomes can be equally as varied, from bronze casting to event-based performance, I tend to work with what seems natural, and follow the desire line. I believe the role of art is to interrogate what surrounds us, to ask questions rather than provide answers.
The Re-staging of a Photograph: Sophus Tromholt and Miscellaneous Astronomical Equipment, 1882-83.
This photograph is a restaging of an 19th Century photograph of the Danish-Norwegian astronomer, Sophus Tromholt. The original image as taken as documentation of an expedition to northern Sweden undertaken in 1882-83, with the photograph taken in his ad-hoc observatory researching the Northern Lights.
The theatricality of the document intrigues me. Despite his scientific findings relating to the northern lights, Tromholt is better known for his anthropological photographs taken whilst on the trip of the Sámi people, whose clothing he is wearing in the original. Through the theatricality of the image, the inseparability of science, colonialism and anthropology is evident, something somewhat obscured in the present day.
Ballads, Limericks and Interstellar Doggerel for Voyages Undertaken in the Pretense of Space Colonization
There will be a point when people gain the courage and technology to make long distance space travel, in search of another habitable planet, possible. When this happens, it will no doubt be a select few who are taken along- a group who will repopulate somewhere unimaginable, light years away. The journey will surely take a long time, the bonds formed in this journey as well as the experiences along the way won’t be dissimilar to former explorers aboard ships, travelling the seas in search of lands new to them, with their own experience taking president over all else. What will the stories made and told be from their voyage? When considering previous explorative and colonizing missions, how will humanities future missions be different?
A collaborative, multidisciplinary project headed by Max Longhurst, revolving around an imagined expedition into space in order to colonise another planet. The Project questions what would be collected and stored from the expedition, and by whom. In the exhibition are a selection of imagined ephemera from the journey and people inhabiting the exoplanet, including Balladsheets, a Captain’s diary, Constellation maps and a re-staged 19th Century photograph.
To re-stage the image, as well as use 19th century formats to present new work, is to re-evaluate our relationships with discovery, colonialism and anthropology. In doing so, the project aims to re-question how we have to view these disciplines as inseparable, and to keep in mind wrongdoings of the past when looking forward to an extra-terrestrial colonial future.