irene rogan

For Realism

REUNION Exhibition Oldknows Studio, Nottingam

Group exhibition

‘For realism’ is a term used by railway model enthusiasts to describe the desired result in creating miniature landscapes, dwellings and imaginary gatherings of people en route of the invented model railway journey.

My proposal uses these miniature buildings and human figures with living lawn grass turf to create a tableau, a miniature world of the holiday park. The models used are the 1960s and 70s architecture of European holiday homes, thus the past is evoked using dated architecture and the notion of the holiday and reinforces the sense of nostalgia , a form of escape. The tableau is also a device often seen in museums where objects are placed in tableau or under glass for display.

‘The reduction in scale which the miniature presents skews the time and space relations of everyday life and is transformed instead as an object to be 'For Realism’ is a term frequently employed by model railway enthusiasts in the production of miniature landscapes in which dwellings, peoples and the means of mobility are represented and movements enacted and re-enacted. The term 'For Realism' in this sense, for the lay theorist, subverts the illusory or critical understanding in favour of a naïve recognition; the miniature, whilst separation by scale, is knowable through sensory perception in which artifice becomes understood as that which it represents. The miniature becomes metaphor, existing within its own space-time whilst arrested (in complicity with illusion) in relation to the viewer's experience of space and time encountered in the negotiation of everyday life.

This work borrows miniature buildings and figures (from the model railway) and displaces them in the construction of a tableau (located within a garden shed) in which they are situated upon and within 'human-scale turf' in the re-creation of a holiday park. The buildings are derivative of 1960s and 70s European architecture and appear 'dated' in the present day. The work seeks through idealised representation to evoke ideas of the past, of holidays and to produce a nostalgia and yearning typically associated with temporal passing, the irreversible linear mobility. However, the use of living turf, human scale lawn grass constantly disrupts the viewers quest for naïveté, the illusion is always evaded through the intrusion of spatial contradictions. It is proposed, that the living grass will continue to complicate the viewer's experience as it grows over the duration of the show, slowly consuming the past; the representation like memory is slowly effaced by time whilst the space and scale of the present reasserts its immediacy.

The audience can participate by selecting from the stock of figures and the shrubbery and trees and created by the artist and place them within the installation and move objects around the table.

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