Key Concepts 2


An anti-hero, a loser, making mistakes…

Within art failure is often embraced. Being willing to try anything and everything for the sake of your practice, can birth ideas which can be the main focus of your work.


Aaron Williamson ‘Artist Leaps On To The Gallery Wall’ 2008ArtistFlings_1-1024x723.png‘This was my first attempt to make ‘wall art’ in a gallery. Rather than hang a framed work, I decided to ‘be’ the artwork myself by leaping onto the gallery wall. Using a spring-ramp and wearing a daredevil stuntman’s protective clothing to soften my fall, I tore up the ramp at full sprint to leap two metres, spreading myself to land SPLAT against the Gallery wall.’ (Aaron Williamson’s website – Artist Leaps On To The Gallery Wall)

Aaron Williamson ‘Collapsing Lecture’ 2009 – 2011CollapsingLecture_1-1024x603.png‘This was a series of performances that took the disguise of being a formal 1-hour-long lecture presented in various institutional scenarios. The premise of the Collapsing Lecture was that the delivery of formal lecturing and conference presentations is often fraught with mishap: equipment malfunctions and the lecturer her/himself is subject to unforeseen difficulties. These ‘collapses’ reveal that rather than being a transparent impartation of knowledge, academic Lecturing is in fact an unpredictable form of performance.’ Aaron Williamson website – Collapsing Lecture

Williamson has embraces the idea of failure, using it a a means of freedom from convention.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres ‘Untitled (perfect lovers)’ c3021e50c8a02894c92c9228d2d10ef2.jpgTwo identical clocks set to the same time are displayed next to each other. Over time the reliability of these cooks are questioned, as the times might begin to differ. These battery operated clocks are not perfect they have the ability to fail. It is inevitable that eventually one of these clocks will stop working before the other.

‘If a artist made a perfect work there would be no need to make another’ 


Author: Crisiant Williams

I am a Fine Art student, studying at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

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