Fogou, 2018

Fogou, 2018

Risograph prints, PA cabinet handles, ratchet strap, vinyl matt, foam board, masking tape, expanding foam, dyed MDF. Installation at May Project, London also included grass turf and a live soundpiece by Stuart Bowditch (info below):

Fogou live Sound clip 1

Fogou live Sound clip 2

For their exhibition Fogou, Jon Kipps and Stuart Bowditch restage a performance which debuted at the Sonorities Festival, Belfast in April. Splicing their interest in ancient structures with contemporary rituals of experiencing live music, their sculpture encourages viewers to become part of a settlement, engrossed in the acts of seeing and hearing.

A fogou is an ancient underground drystone wall cavern, similar to an Irish souterrain, but found in Cornwall. After 2000 years, their intended use is still unclear. One present-day theory suggests that journeying through a fogou allows access to an alternate dimension. Historically, their connection to spirituality seems the most likely reason for their existence.

The sculpture’s – or fogou’s - various components are assembled into a structure resembling a speaker stack; PA cab handles, ratchet straps and vinyl flooring suggest this is a touring object. The faux Venetian floor tiles, taken from the Doge’s Palace, cover the surface of the object and confuse its form. A loop of electronic components makes the sculpture resonate at its own unique audible frequency. Using a live feed of the frequency, Bowditch will improvise a musical score in response to the sound of the object, bringing the installation to life.

Kipps and Bowditch met in 2002. Their subsequent collaborations aim to bring a durational aspect to sculpture and a physical shape to sound.

Images by Oskar Proctor, courtesy May Project.

Final images: Instalation at Union Chapel, London 2019 and Bowditch performing at Sonorities, Belfast 2018