‘The Matter of Memory’
in Simon Linington: La La Land
William Bennington Gallery, London
La La Land was published on the occasion of Simon Linington’s solo-exhibition of the same name at William Bennington Gallery (28 February - 13 April 2019)
The publication was conceived to explore Linington’s new exhibition and previous three solo shows as a developing series, featuring a short story by Simon Linington and an in-conversation with artist William Mackrell.
In response to Linington’s work, I was commissioned to write an essay on his recent work, choosing to focus on the themes of memory and materiality that are integral to his practice and continue to feature as salient subjects in his ongoing work.
Edition of 50
Designed by Mingo Mingo Studio
Produced by George Marsh
Published by William Bennington Gallery
Printed in London, 2019
“For his show at Castor Projects in March 2018, Simon sought to transmute the space itself into the essence of his work. Foregoing his distinctive glass vials, Simon wrenched a sizeable portion of the gallery ceiling straight out, casting the microscopic rubble it produced in long rectangular screens of transparent rubber. Once more including detritus from the now amassing prologue of salvaged exhibition matter, the varied scale of its constituent debris at points blistered and pierced the jellied surface, evoking a seraphic landscape that was both cellular and solar—the kind of cerebral dissonance that is just as captivating as it is elusive, enveloping the mind like a daydream or a fever. These were works that became material enactions of the role of memory in time—of what Simon calls ‘the story’. They expressed a philosophy of time not rooted in scientific measurements, relativity or quantum mechanics, but a vibrant, material consciousness of being; what Bergson would call élan vital, a concept translated worldwide as “vital impulse.”
Just like Bergson’s prism of consciousness, each of Simon’s recent shows has chosen to deploy its materials through the ellipsis of memory. Whilst remaining dynamic, processual and forward-thinking, there endures a cone of memory both spiraloid and vertiginous, erupting in dizzying fashion through his modest and humble works. It is here that Simon’s practice accrues a wealth of unique and bashful affectation. As it stands his projects will continue to materially configure themselves through their precursors: stratifications of dirt, plaster or rubber will be aligned as much by their current surroundings as they will be the surroundings of previous locations. Simon’s overall process is like that of a dying star, which although fugitive at its core continues to radiate light through its duration in time, all the way to the glistening twilights that we experience on Earth. It is one that carries with it its own memory, as we do through our own lives—and one that will continue to burgeon and flourish beyond its singular expressions in the future.”