Lookback: Jonathan Baldock - Facecrime

Posted on 22 Apr 2020 in News, Visual Art

facecrime.jpegIn what was his first solo exhibition in Scotland, Jonathan Baldock brought his ceramic/mixed media exhibition to our front gallery in Autumn of last year. Facecrime is comprised of a series of ceramic columns inspired by the discovery, in 1974, of more than a thousand perfectly preserved clay tablets, inscribed in cuneiform - an early writing system - ca. 2500 BC, in the ancient city of Ebia, Syria. 

In response, Baldock's creations depict contemporary forms of communication, creating classical-digital hybrids which draw early human script into dialogue with the emoji, the fastest growing language. Borrowing its title from George Orwell's dystopian novel, 1984, the exhibition evoked an absurd and unsettling contemporary ruin that the audience wander amongst as though discovering the signs and visual languages of a once prosperous civilisation. 

The show at Tramway was concluded with a one-off performance by Jonathan Baldock,  Florence Peake and Chlöe Herington within the installation as part of Dance International Glasgow 2019. Facecrime was originally exhibited at Camden Arts Centre, and was due to open at The Bluecoat arts centre in Liverpool on 13 March 2020, with the opening delayed by the national closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Facecrime
Tramway, 31 August - 7 October 2019

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About the artist
Jonathan Baldock (b. 1980) works across multiple platforms including sculpture, installation and performance. Baldock has an ongoing interest in the contrast between the material qualities of ceramic and fabric, drawing them together in his theatrical installations and sculptural assemblages. Drawing from histories of labour, folklore and storytelling, Baldock experiments with glass, basketry and spinning to highlight the decline of traditional making and skills lost due to technology. 

Down the Rabbit Hole: Further reading 

Visit Jonathan Baldock's website> 

Read about Facecrime at The Bluecoat> 

Jonathan Baldock interviewed by The Bluecoat (You Tube)>