The Golden Thread

2004
Aluminium, Glass
250 x 700 x 1000 cm
Edition of 1

The Golden Thread is a work that explores notions of perception and suspension, image and reality. It could be interpreted as a glass and metal vision of the Minotaur’s lair from Greek mythology. In the ancient Greek story, the heroic Theseus, aided and abetted by Ariadne’s ingenuity, finds his way to the centre of the labyrinth to slay the ferocious and blood thirsty bull headed Minotaur. Turk, however, creates a postmodern version of the myth. A modular fascination laid out in simple geometry and arithmetic, echoing the social control of reality TV, where the prisoners are under observation, not hidden away in a dungeon. The labyrinthine structure spanning the floor is made from framed glass panels laid out on a grid like a giant chessboard. It consists of a maze of mirrors, each one designed to disorientate and confuse, luring one in through the opening to become part of the sculpture. The piece is very much to do with the performance of looking at art, or looking for it.

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About The Artist

Gavin Turk’s works focus on issues of authorship, authenticity and identity, addressing the ‘myth’ of the artist and the ‘authorship’ of work. In 1991, Turk was denied his MA certificate for his exhibition piece, Cave, an English Heritage–style blue plaque commemorating his occupancy. The plaque read “Borough of Kensington, Gavin Turk, Sculptor, Worked Here 1989–1991” and was set into the wall above an empty building. His tutors denied him his qualification stating they could not understand the work. In the early '90s Turk made a series of paintings that addressed and developed these issues, the work being based on his own signature. In Stain he recalled Italian sculptor Alberto Giacometti’s habit of signing tablecloths as payment for restaurant meals. In 1993, he staged Collected Works 1989–1993, an exhibition that included the ironic–iconic Pop—a life–size waxwork sculpture of the artist as Sid Vicious aping the pose of Andy Warhol’s painting of Elvis playing a cowboy. In 1998, Turk held a mini–retrospective at the South London Gallery, which he titled The Stuff Show. At the private view, he played on the speculation about its content by wrapping everything up in unbleached canvas and string. This also referred to the sculptor Christo. Turk displayed another waxwork of himself in 2000, this time in the guise of revolutionary leader Che Guevara. His contribution to Ant Noises at the Saatchi Gallery was based on a famous poster image of Guevara, enlarged to billboard size.

Gavin Turk

Born: 1967