Oliver Clegg

The End
December 1-31, 2013

Kowal+Odermatt Projects is very pleased to announce a site-specific outdoor installation of British-born artist Oliver Clegg, titled The End, especially conceived for Miami.

The primal inspiration for this installation stems from an earlier work, titled I Hope we Never Die/ So Do I/ Do You Think There is Any Chance of it?, the artist had originally created in 2010. Having just experienced the passing of his father, Clegg keenly felt the questions of existence and identity being the most prevalent during his time of mourning. For this particular work, Clegg had purchased 81 human birth certificates online, into which he then had the striking and famous final words, taken from American movies of the 1930’s and 1940’s, “The End”, thus announcing the conclusion of a movie, laser-cut into the surface of the complete set of purchased birth certificates.

Being a completely conceptual artist, Clegg’s work runs the gamut of human emotions. Often using emotive objects coming with their own history, and closely relating to the fate of other human beings, Clegg may simply best be described as a gatekeeper of memories. As such, he relishes playing with narratives and the symbolism of every-day objects, may it be a cradle, a children’s toy, or a light bulb.
Confronting the viewer with his own memories, which often go back as far as childhood, Clegg’s mastery is both gentle and forceful at the same time. Citing the writings of renowned psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud as an influence, Clegg’s strongly evocative works take the viewer on a trip into the unconscious part of their minds, where images lie buried, and waiting to be unearthed again, thus very possibly provoking strong emotional reactions, after finding again a long-lost toy from our childhood years, to give just one example.

It is exactly in the cheeriness of this installation, where Clegg’s fondness for ‘play’ as a motif in his overall practice becomes apparent again. Originally taken from the 1935 American comedy classic A Night at the Opera (directed by Sam Wood), starring the Marx Brothers, Clegg, having just recently moved to the United States, found it’s “The End”-line especially appealing for his cheery font and overall design. By using colored neon evoking the insistency of many Art Decos buildings in the heart of Miami, Clegg enhances this quality, letting his installation become alive, and thus juxtaposing deeper-rooted, darker notions of mortality and the circle of life, carried by the birth certificates of his previous work. In doing so, Clegg, has yet again spawned the complete range of human emotion from tragedy to comedy, all encompassed in one singular work.

The End can be viewed at 70 NW 29th Street, Miami, FL, on the premises of the Blue Starlite drive-in movie theatre, across from the Rubell Family Collection.
In order to ensure an ideal viewing experience, viewers are strongly advised to visit the installation on site at dusk (7 p.m.).

Oliver Clegg (born 1981 in Guildford, UK) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Please contact Kai Heinze for more information, as well as visuals at 1-646-6620924, or email Kowal+Odermatt Projects at: kowalodermatt@gmail.com.