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28.08.2012 INTERVIEW

Lloyd Corporation, Sebastian Lloyd Rees (N) & Ali Eisa (UK), at their opening aug. 2012, Copenhagen. Foto: Maria Märcher Schumann.

When People are Silent Stones Speak

The Lloyd Corporation are the London based collaborative artists Ali Eisa (UK) and Sebastian Lloyd Rees (N). Formed after graduating in 2010 from the Ba(Hons) Fine Art course at Goldsmiths College of Art, London, they have been developing a practice incorporating sculpture, installation and video that focuses on self resourcefulness, archeology and the utilization of so-called waste products and materials into something other, something beautiful. In September 2011 they began working with the London gallery Carlos Ishikawa where they produced their most recent solo exhibition Connect. Conjugate. Continue. They have recently featured in magazines including Artforum, Timeout & The Playground. Their upcoming projects include the exhibition Archéologies Contemporaines at Musée du Château des Ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbéliard, France - showcasing how archeology inspires visual artists in their work.

When People Are Silent Stones Speak is The Lloyd Corporations first show in Copenhagen and the Norwegian artist and theorist Simen Joachim Helsvig met them whilst they were finalising the show at Green is Gold on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

AF Simen Joachim Helsvig

Can you explain the process of making the works you're showing?
Some of these works were made at Krabbesholm in Skive, where we had an exhibition earlier this year. They were informed by the environment, with all these big industries moving out of Denmark, towards Asia, and we used metal remnants that we found in a skip, which had probably been left for the last two or three years - fabricated metal, debris from the industry. It was interesting coming back to London, because in London there's a complete economy of waste, everything is being circulated. Trying to find waste materials in London, you see so many different handling systems of disposed objects and waste, and you have so many corporate waste facilitators and low-key waste disposal sites in the suburbs. But this is interesting, what is allowed to become waste? As an artist one has to be resourceful in terms of using waste, utilizing it in a different way.  

Objects that become very rapidly disposable are something we've been drawn to. We've been using bottles of detergents and washing up liquids - materials that are really sanitary, which is interesting, because through the process we've subjected them to, they become ruins.

So instead of recycling, you allow them to be frozen. It is almost like an archeology of the contemporary, and some of these panels are like the reliefs you see in historical museums, fragments from a larger structure taken away from the site and placed on a wall.
These casts started with an interest in how, at places like the British Museum, you have these cutouts, pieces of walls or slabs displayed. But we also had an interest in floor surfaces, and they came about running all these different elements lying around in the studio through different types of casting processes. Using materials like bricks and metal and dust, bringing them together. But you're also slightly disconnected from the surface you get because everything has been reversed; the frames are literally the mould box.

They're all cast?
Exactly. Some elements are intentionally taken out of the mould and others are left to slightly peel away. This ties in with this interest in things being left to wither away and degrade - the clash between that and a managed process. A sculptural process as opposed to a waste management process. It's also interesting this shift - how an everyday object goes from being disposable, waste, to being a valuable resource in the trash management business. And how this leads to people going on to rail tracks to steal copper wiring, taking Henry Moore sculptures and melting them down, reducing the formal quality of the object to a quantity of material.

With these casts of bottles and containers, the process of casting transforms them into formal, sculptural objects. One of the objects we show has a lot of formal references - even though it's a fabric conditioner - to British sculptors like Henry Moore or Barbara Hepworth. We've also been interested in the clash between different kinds of mark making, so this shape, as a sculptural shape, recalls early British modern sculpture, but you still have the actual fabrication lines, and this duality resonates in most of the works.

So, in all the works there is an element of inversion. The materials are not simply placed upon a canvas or a panel, but rather extracted?
We've been interested in how you extract a surface. All the bottle shapes are cast straight into the containers and then cut away. It's actually the negative space, where you would have the water or detergent. And then it reproduces the markings of industrial production. Our process is very hands on - the prints of architectural drawings were made using a technique of home lithography, where you use margarine, and coke instead of acid - so throughout a lot of these works there is a degraded sense of material processes but you can always identify these elements of really precise, controlled industrial fabrication.

One of the references that has been productive is the early post- modern sculpture of Robert Smithson and Robert Morris and the idea of the expanded field, when sculpture moved into so many different forms. Particularly land art. Its attempt to reclaim processes from the world of production, and shifting it to a context of sculpture. The multitude of different ways of producing marks, that come out of a completely different world, as it were. And then you have things like Indian ship breaking, which would be the most extreme example of something that should require advanced industry and technology, but is being carried out by hand.

Finally, why the name, Lloyd Corporation?
We heard all these stories of how these legal terms like "corporation" and "sole trader", as they were becoming slightly outdated, were used for really weird purposes like devil worshipping, these people registering as corporations so they could exploit the benefits this allowed. We were originally interested in these things, but now it is not something that factors into our conversation, it's become just a name, a unit. But still, on a surface level, the corporate world is something that factors into the work.

Thank you.

Lloyd Corporation: When People Are Silent Stones Speak, 2012. Installation view. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: When People Are Silent Stones Speak, 2012. Installation view. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: Itsynergy (minor), 2012, Canvas, iron, charcoal, paint. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: Itsynergy (minor) (detail), 2012, Canvas, iron, charcoal, paint. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: Itsynergy I (major), 2012, Found canvas, iron. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: The Primal Ooze, 2012, Terracotta cast, insulation, wood, bron. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: The Primal Ooze (detail), 2012, Terracotta cast, insulation, wood, bron. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: When People Are Silent Stones Speak, 2012. Installation view. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: The Primal Ooze, 2012, Plaster, drain cover, bronze, brick, tarmac. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: The Primal Ooze (detail), 2012, Plaster, drain cover, bronze, brick, tarmac. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: Janus (Untitled), 2012, Lithographic prints, plaster. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

Lloyd Corporation: Assortment, 2012, Found ceramic vase, plaster. Foto: Ditte Knus Tønnesen.

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