Father of the Sun

Peter Joslyn
14 June - 19 July 2009

In a new ongoing project, Auto Italia is inviting artists to produce work for the façade of the building, translating their practice to tackle the scale, limitations and site. This will change or accumulate every month in parallel to the established programme.

Having been invited by Auto Italia to occupy the second exhibition, RUN Galley are pleased to present Father of the Sun, a new work by Peter Joslyn.

Peter Joslyn’s works frequently exist as proposals for larger objects or events. The artist finds freedom in the limitless potential of working in this way. With no obligation to the feasibility, logistics, or cost (and many other bureaucratic factors), the artist provides a completely hypothetical context to which his work can be situated. There lies however a distinct duality in what Joslyn does. Where proposals usually serve a preliminary role in the realisation of something else, Joslyn’s rarely expect to be realised at all and thus become the work itself. By adopting the language of the proposal, Joslyn presents the audience with what is at once an artwork but also an idea, laden with the potential to exist as something entirely larger.

This duality takes on a strange, perhaps sinister resonance when considering the activity of the artist and the self-referential nature of the content. The proposals suggest the coming together of large groups of people to activate the work, yet the process of making is often a singular, tedious and lonely experience. Whether splicing together numerous versions of the artist’s own voice, or cutting out tens of thousands of tiny pieces of card, the intensity of the labour and the density of the workload are palpable. But these indulgent objects reveal themselves to have a life beyond this sculptural feat and become easy to imagine existing in a larger context. Numerous people uniting in song for example, or tens of thousands of people holding up placards to create a stadium sized work, celebrating the artist himself.

It is this interest in potential and the idea of a large number of people ‘activating’ an artwork that brings Joslyn to Father of the Sun. For Auto Italia, Joslyn will take advantage of the large exterior to create a focal point for the surrounding community. Using a persuasively pop, yet uneasy dictatorial aesthetic, Father of the Sun will become a shrine, encouraging people to come together in admiration and praise, lifting not only the community but the artist too, whose portrait will sit within the centre of the mural. This seemingly egotistical statement, however unnerving, may speak less of the potential of the artist but perhaps come to represent the artist as ‘everyman’ and communicate the potential within everyone.

RUN Gallery is Hana Noorali, Lynton Talbot and Elena Crippa. Father of the Sun will be RUN’s first London exhibition since completing a series of solo shows over eighteen-months at 24 Tudor Grove. RUN will be delivering a forthcoming program of exhibitions from a new permanent London location.