Title: Purple Beat
Media: Branches, spray paint
Purple Beat displays a row of smooth and brightly coloured purple branches of varying heights, shapes, and thicknesses, leaning casually against the wall. Each branch has been carefully smoothed and sanded, polished to perfection, and sprayed with glittering metallic industrial paint. Ambiguity prevails: they have the look of a manufactured and mass produced object, yet each branch is unique and true to their natural organic form.
The arrangement of the display echoes works by 1960s Minimalist artist Eva Hesse. It acknowledges and pays homage to its historical predecessor yet brings the reference up to date in a knowing, playful, and humorous way.
Purple Beat featured in the exhibition Chromophilia that celebrated vivid synthetic colour and its various gaudy material manifestations, ranging from the glossy and the glittery to the pearlescent, the day-glo, and the luminous. Posed against Western notions of good taste and purity, often signified by ‘whiteness’, i.e., the lack of colour, such mass-produced colours and their connotations of kitsch, flamboyance, and Otherness was - in the spirit of full-blown chromophilia - embraced as magical, discordant, and anti-disciplinary.