The Arts Council Collection has announced that the installation sculpture “Untitled” by Roger Hiorns will feature in the survey exhibition The Sculpture Show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. This major work, gifted to the Arts Council Collection by the artist and Corvi Mora with the support of the Henry Moore Foundation, is for the first time shown in the United Kingdom placed upon Charles Jencks’ dramatic landscaping project Landform at the SNGMA. Untitled (Alliance) consists of two decommissioned aircraft engines, which were once part of military surveillance planes. As with previous works, Roger Hiorns has explored further his interest in machine forms, and has subjected the engines to material alteration. In Untitled (Alliance)the artist has incorporated, into the engines, crushed forms of three pharmaceuticals- Effexor, Citalopram and Mannitol. By incorporating these pharmaceuticals, which are used to treat trauma and depression, the work makes reference to the creation and alleviation of anxiety on both a national and personal level, addressing the connection between global security and individual well being.
Untitled was originally commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago last year and represented the artist’s first collaboration with a leading American museum. It furthers Roger Hiorns’ investigation into ‘re-evaluating selected objects’ and he has commented that ‘powerful organisations in the world leave their excess power lying in the street for the citizen or the artist to pick up and reuse, reassert or transgress from the original use’. The two Pratt & Whitney TF33 P9 engines – sourced from the United States Air Force now abandoned tools of long-range surveillance missions – represent this excess of literal and figurative control.
Roger Hiorns (b. 1975 in Birmingham) is a London-based artist who was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2009. He is perhaps best known for Seizure (2008) in which he filled an abandoned flat in South London with liquid copper sulphate. His previous engine-based sculptures have involved the atomisation of a passenger jet to fine dust; the insertion of brain matter into the engine of a Toyota people carrier; and the coating of automobile engines in translucent aqua-coloured copper sulphate crystals. He has a number of works in public collections across the country including the Arts Council Collection and Tate.
The Sculpture Show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art celebrates sculpture in all its many forms with works ranging from Impressionist masterpieces by Rodin and Degas to contemporary works by such artists as Damien Hirst and Simon Starling. Highlights include works by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, Ron Mueck’s monumental work A Girl, and this year’s Turner Prize nominees Martin Boyce and Karla Black.