We are pleased to present “YOU”, a new solo exhibition by Scottish artist Scott Myles. This is Myles’ second solo exhibition with the gallery and his first solo exhibition in Berlin. Myles incorporates different media in his conceptually oriented work. Besides painting, sculpture, various printing techniques and photography, above all he uses expansive and process-based art forms, such as installation and performance. Myles´ individual works describe a reference system within space; they become elements of a sculptural spatial moment, in which a performative component becomes inherent through cognitive interaction with the viewer or through subtle references to the artist. Motifs of the body in interaction with and in reference to its surroundings and in relation to objects and the process of actions, which surround it - play a constitutive role in Myles´ artistic oeuvre. In this, the artist often addresses the relationship between interior and exterior space, which sometimes involves dichotomies such as inscription and release, thus sketching and questioning the gap between waiting and acting, or the discrepancy between the prescience and execution of an action.
“DOING” continues an ongoing series of screen-prints Myles has been producing featuring text motifs that shift between information, statement and implied instructions. They derive from instructional signage, wordings used on signs in public space. Instead of describing a situation or a (geographical) location in absolute reduction and non-ambiguity, Myles expands the import of possible meanings- up to the point of indeterminacy.
A new body of work “Untitled (ELBA…)” formally seizes on the idea of capturing subjects of thought, above all however, it refers to containers, surfaces and systems of index and archive. The over-sized paper sculptures represent abstraction in relation to function and juxtapose two seemingly contradictory formats. The wall-based sculptures correspond in their shape with manilla document folders, which are used by Myles - to collect and archive documents, notes and ideas in his Glasgow studio. As well as being a brand name, ELBA is the Mediterranean Island where Napoleon was exiled to; in effect the island became a container of confinement for Napoleon. The folders dimensions have been constructed to equate with the artist´s height, scaling up the width of the object to 194 cm; thus setting them in relation to the artist´s body. The function of the folder as a bearer of memory remains abstract, quite like the gestural printed paintings on the surface of the paper sculptures. That which has been collected is extraverted, the idea becomes an object through a circular, reflexive process - within a framework that makes both body and action referents.
Myles´ work develops from actual situations or actions, their shapes are shifted through stylistic means, such as the disassociation of real conditions and a narrative moment is assigned to them. “An Anxious Repose” - much like his text pieces and ELBA works- transfers a functional place into a context disconnected from function. The installation consists of a partially gutted former bus stop, which Myles relocated from a Glasgow street to the Berlin gallery space. Myles has painted the object with matte blackboard paint, which reduced to its shape only, re-enacts an original “non-place” as “site”.
The bricolage sculpture “Monument to Mount Ventoux” consists of two found objects painted white- a wooden ladder with a bicycle wheel inserted into the top rung, and a shipping crate painted black, which functions as a plinth for the object transported within it. The sculpture relates to a preceding photographic work by Myles, which is concerned with Mont Ventoux (Provence), its panorama and the mystical experience connected to it, as described by the poet Petrarch. As an abstract sculpture, “Monument to Mount Ventoux” thus outlines a sculptural perspective, which on the one hand comprises the aforementioned thoughts, and on the other formally suggests a point of view and both non-art and art-historical references such as Duchamp´s ready-made and the Tour De France.
“A History of Type Design” is an ongoing project, which Scott Myles started with Gavin Morrison in 2011. Using the Japanese frottage technique of Takuhon impressions have been taken from the gravestones of prominent type-designers, for example Eric Gill or Jan Tschichold to create an idiosyncratic anthology of significant type designers. In Myles’ exhibition we are presenting a selection of these works. Although the project can in a sense be seen as a survey of type design and designers it is necessarily erratic in that it is constrained by the difficulties of determining locations, access and the logistics of finding the grave sites. As a result certain prominent type-designers fail to feature. An initial impetus for this project was whether the designer´s own type-design is utilized in the stone-carving, in effect if their last words are given in their own hand. The process itself contains an interesting relation to the type-design role in publishing as the frottages are a simplistic form of printing where the gravestone serves as a de facto printing plate.
translation by Zoë Claire Miller