suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Richard BLACKWELL: Grottos are group of works included in a 3 Part exhibition series of the same name, which exhibited In Australia and Chicago in 2010–11.
“Throughout Grotto the primitivism of Blackwell’s connections hover like an overseer, our habitation of the virtual world is referred back to the visual ancestry of cave drawings in which imagery provided assimilation with intended prey. In Grotto the retreat of the screen provides the seclusion of the cave in which imagery is once again the arbitrator. By presenting a digitised geology Blackwell codes the point of entry, there is a latent fine print in operation. These openings can be seen as temporal gateways to extended virtual absorption or recalibrated as x-rays with which to objectify such an encounter. Blackwell holds the viewer on the periphery of admission.” From “Finding Fault in Richard Blackwell” (Roy Marchant, 2010).
sP: What or who influenced this project?
RB: I became interested in the grottos as a concept in attendance at a lecture given by Aranda/Lasch Architects in Chicago in 2007. The formation of the works in 2010—as always—where part of an iterative process, the start of which is hard to locate. The works are also linked to printmaking. The black tone is actually etching ink rubbed into an engraved surface. They are in a sense large intaglio plates that where never printed.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
RB: Nikolas Gambroff, Siebren Versteeg, and Tauba Auerbach.
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