Artist Talk: Patricia L. Boyd

Patricia L. Boyd spent this weeks artist talk discussing the past three years body of work that she has produced around the world. This started in San Francisco where she studied the environment around her and ended up at a liquidation auction of a media tech company ‘Post Intelligence’ (who were bought outright by Uber). She also became interested in the service of grease recycling to solve the problem of blocked drains. The city would collect the grease for free and develop it into bio diesel.

Boyd responded to the auction and bought an office chair and turntable. She stripped the items down to their core components, making moulds from them. These were negative casts made from a mix of wax and grease that glisten and shine when they get warm. These were embedded into the wall of the gallery so that the surface of the cast was flush with the wall. Through this, Boyd looked at parts that had similar functions to do with posture. The exhibition moved from its original gallery and were now a series of casts of the same object to show the lack of stability in the materials used.

In LA, Boyd had a solo show in ‘Potts’ that consisted of casts and videos. The video was a block aid when trying to enter the website, showing a camera being pushed down the drain from a rooftop into the citys’ sewer and all the way back again. The gallery itself used to be a plumbing shop, and as many shops in LA, it was built so that you could see everything as you drove by. Those who used to own the business were also musicians who used the items that they sold. Behind the wall that Boyd exhibited on was their studio. This lead to Boyd being interested in how the front space, the gallery, was so hygienic and a complete contrast to the back space.

There would often be a tense relationship between Boyd and the galleries as the walls that she displayed in were their boundaries. However, through the installation of her works, she was able to stretch those boundaries for the galleries.

Videos that Boyd made include looking at good and bad examples of grammar. The example sentences that you find in grammar guides builds a world for you, informs you and determines a reality for you. Boyd also made a video last year that was commissioned as an advert on TV. She then recorded when her piece was on TV and included some of the surrounding programmes and adverts. The video itself happened somewhat by accident and Boyd became captivated with Carl, the stage hand who built an engine and then took it apart again. The creation of the engine itself was fast and performance lie to demonstrate his skills, but this was cut up further to fit in the space of an advert creating a piece even more frantic than the performance.

In one of the previous exhibitions, Boyd asked for a piece of the wall along with her artwork, which is now displayed as an entirely new piece that is hung on the wall. Boyd also moved onto photograms from windows in shops in San Francisco. The graffiti has scarred the window due to acid, giving a different opaqueness to the window. There was a similar exhibition in Melbourne, Australia held in a trade unions building where it was purposefully not a gallery space and life went on. Here, Boyd displayed a photogram of a bus shelter where the glass encasing displayed an area that was not truly public nor private. (Boyd has since learned that a company owns all the bus shelters and makes a profit from them through advertising). The other part of this exhibition was in the back of a graphic designers office.

Much of Boyd’s work responds to the environment and the space around her, while also stretching the boundaries of standard display and installation.

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