01 Sep 2004
You Are in London
London Underground Pocket Tube Map
For the first time in its four year history, Platform for Art has commissioned a new work of art for the front cover of the pocket Tube map. The project is a collaboration with Frieze Art Fair (Regent’s Park, October 15 – 18). Emma Kay, a recently established British artist, has used the Tube-line colours to create a compelling image that will be on the map cover from September until early 2005.
You Are in London (2004) is an image that is deceptive in its apparent simplicity, and its own identity is inextricably linked with that of London Underground. It is a multi-coloured target that playfully combines the Tube-line colours with art-historical references, graphic design and our collective memory. Kay’s concentric circle composition, which exclusively comprises the colours that represent each of the Tube lines, prompts a double-take as we work out why it seems so familiar.
Kay’s use of a common motif – the target – relates this work to many themes. It could suggest that being in London means that you are on target, possibly even at the centre of things. But Kay also wants to remind us of the frequent recurrence of the target in the work of other artists: Jasper Johns, Ugo Rondinone and Kenneth Noland to name but three.
In all of her work, Kay is interested in how objective facts and figures are subjected to the eccentricities of our memories. You Are in London is Kay’s own memory audit of the Tube-line colours. Combining a popular symbol with a familiar set of colours, she lays claim to both.
Frieze Art Fair
15 – 18 October 2004