A series of laminated cards on the wall of the library commemorate Blinky Palermo’s painted cornice in the stairwell of ECA. I heard that the college was quick to paint over as soon as he left but then controversially decided to repaint the piece back in later (presumably after the artist died young, following a successful career).
Since I have been working with the idea of ascension via the ladder, this work would appear to be relevant- but is it?
On one level there is something that seems a little bit cynical- similar to having to look at artwork that criticises the establishment, falling into its own trap in the process. Culturally a lot of what we do is driven by anxiety, so understanding how this might motivate the creation of art could be very useful for artists.
The ladder allows access to a space you couldn’t be in otherwise. It is pioneering tool that allows a change to be made in a space that is usually out of bounds. In architecture there is a lot of space that we cant really deal with, and a lot of the exploration artists were doing in the 60’s, for me, seems to address this feeling.
In the case of this particular work, it has become difficult to tell the difference between the interpretation of the work and the work itself:
‘The conflict between the blob and the straight edge was never resolved.’