Study is the generic name for a series of focused case-studies of works from the collection. Each involves a single work, displayed on its own in a gallery. The work is studied in depth: from its techniques, origin and history to its position in the artist’s practice and contemporary debates. Each Study is made available in a booklet.
An artwork is a system that cannot be reduced only to an object or an index (certificate, instructions, etc.). It also includes the histories (material and conceptual), the trajectories (physical or virtual) and the narratives (past or to come) generated by the artwork: this is what this programme will research.
To study is to devote time and attention to a particular subject, to acquire knowledge. It can also refer to a piece of work done for practice or as an experiment. It is this latter sense that we would like to pursue – of study not as the transmission of knowledge or an act of contemplation, but rather as an invitation to act.
Study is not an attempt to capture or seize but a methodology of encounter and the insistence on the provisional as both form and content within the process of research. It is an exercise in responding to the infinite demands of the work, not meant to bring forth any historical truth but rather to enter into a true dialogue with the work.
In this sense Study is not finite, but demands the reader to take up multiple positions and viewpoints. More than anything, it asks the viewer to engage with the artwork by, at the very least, spending some time with it.
The Fourth Study is Eyes by Martin Boyce. For the first time an external critic, Steven Cairns, has been commissioned to write a text for the booklet.
Steven Cairns is Associate Curator of Artists’ Film and Moving Image at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. He recently coordinated the LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Images 2012, curated Alma Mater (2011/12) a LUX annual touring programme of recent Moving Image from the UK and has contributed to numerous screening programmes and panel discussions. He is also a regular contributor to Artforum and Frieze among other publications.
Martin Boyce was born in 1967 in Glasgow, where he lives and works.