Jonathan Callan

by aucourantarts

I first became aware of Callan’s work when I started to play around with  the idea of interfering with an object which already had a purpose, this idea of creating an intervention. Callan also has a running theme of interference within his own work, the idea of breaking things down, making something new out of something which had become prehaps tired. Talking about his work on the contemporary art society he says, “Most objects to me are not real until I can find what is inside. Which presents a paradox. Since we can only ever see the surface of things, the interior of any object is seen as a series of surfaces beyond and behind which are only more interior surfaces. This is a morbid inclination. Perhaps implying that things can only be understood after having been broken down or destroyed, suggesting that the attainment of knowledge is an invasive procedure, no gaze or observation leaving it’s subject unmarked.” Many of Callan’s sculptures are made from books, using the structure of the book rather than what is inside it, is both interesting and to some people it may seem bazaar. This idea of denying the book its right of being an informer or story-teller and using it purposely for its sculpture/aesthetic qualities such as it colour or its flexibility and its ability to mold and curve into flower like free-standing sculpture is beautiful and poetic. Callan admits that, “In order to get the work made an artist will use any and every form of conceptual scaffolding. For me, that kind of support is only temporary, it must be taken down once the work is finished. Structurally it may have no correspondence at all to the conceptual integrity of the finished piece.” Prehaps suggesting that beyond the idea that art is a form of communication and perhaps also a form of inquiry, he is still no wiser as to why he creates the pieces of art he does, which is refreshing to hear, because sometimes maybe we just make art because we want to.