At first glance, this work of art by Tim Noble and Sue Webster looks like just another nondescript stack of stuff someone is trying to pass off as modern art. The magic happens when the spotlights are turned on.
When the light is set to hit at just the right angle, the sculpture casts a silhouette in shadow; a self portrait of the artists.
It is an interesting question as to where exactly the art resides in these pieces. There is a sort of gestalt psychology at work here, wherein the wall, the sculpture, and the light are all uninteresting and rather unpleasant in themselves, but together make one of the most thought compelling art techniques I’ve seen. This pile of rubbish, entitled Dirty White Trash [With Gulls], illustrates the extreme versatility of the medium. If you have stuff, and a light source, chances are you have the materials. My expectation is that the artists likely traced each others shadows on the wall and then just started piling up stuff until their outline was obscured by shadow. Other artists and even commercials have used variations of the medium, and I’m surprised it hasn’t become more popular. It might be a fun way to send someone a covert message. I think I might have to find a way to make use of this next Halloween