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John Gerrard, Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas), 2008. Canary Wharf Underground station, 2010. Photograph: Andy Keate
John Gerrard, Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas), 2008. Canary Wharf Underground station, 2010. Photograph: Andy Keate
John Gerrard, Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas), 2008. Canary Wharf Underground station, 2010. Photograph: Andy Keate
John Gerrard, Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas), 2008. Canary Wharf Underground station, 2010. Photograph: Andy Keate
John Gerrard, Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas), 2008. Canary Wharf launch, 2010. Photograph: Benedict Johnson
John Gerrard, Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas), 2008. Canary Wharf launch, 2010. Photograph: Benedict Johnson
John Gerrard, Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas), 2008. Canary Wharf launch, 2010. Photograph: Benedict Johnson
John Gerrard, Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas), 2008. Canary Wharf launch, 2010. Photograph: Benedict Johnson

Oil Stick Work

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One Thing Leads to Another – Everything is Connected: project notes for artworks on the Jubilee line, 2010

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13 May 2010

John Gerrard

Oil Stick Work

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Art on the Underground and artist John Gerrard have now switched off Oil Stick Work at Canary Wharf Underground station. The digital projection has now completed its year at Canary Wharf Underground station. Watch this space for further projects at Canary Wharf later in 2011!

As part of a series of contemporary art projects for the Jubilee line, commissioned by Art on the Underground Irish artist, John Gerrard, is to present a large-scale installation of his work Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas) 2008 on a vast bespoke wall in the station.

Using customised game-design software to craft stunningly accurate virtual worlds, Gerrard projects a complex digital moving image that eerily develops in real time and will continue to do so over the next 30 years. The viewer joins this hyper-real scene three years into its slowly unfolding story on a desolate Midwest prairie.

At daybreak (PST), the tiny figure of Angelo Martinez, a Mexican-American builder, arrives at a solitary aluminium corn silo and carefully paints a perfect black one metre square on the exterior of the structure with an oil stick crayon. Working a six-day week, from dawn to dusk, Martinez will painstakingly paint the entire building, transforming it into a black void on the virtual landscape. On the 20th December Angelo will finish painting the first wall and at dawn (CST) on the 21st December will start a new wall. In 2038, he will complete the task and leave the scene.

The viewer is left in no doubt, Martinez could be anyone of us making a futile but resolute attempt to change the way things are, one stroke at a time. It’s no coincidence that Gerrard invites the commuters of Canary Wharf to watch the Mexican’s daily progress over the course of the year that his vast ‘virtual sculpture’ is on show at the station.

See John Gerrard's work on YouTube

We have designed project notes to accompany this project which are free, downloadable PDF documents for use by wide audiences, from individual Tube customers and families to educational groups. 

Artists
John Gerrard




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Comment posted by Alan, 12 May 2011

I thought this would make more sense when I saw it than reading about it, but it didn't. Why stick to US time (so it's pitch dark on the screen until nearly lunchtime) when it's virtual rather than happening live? It all happens too slowly, and if the virtual painting won't be finished until 2038 why is it being taken away already as that end of the station has no other use. I might have formed an attachment to it over the years and kept an eye on it every so often, knowing it would outlast my working life. A few seats would have enabled visitors to relax watching the view rotate.

Comment posted by manabendra ghosh, 03 Jan 2011

Really nice your work. welcome to Bangladesh. We are waiting for you ......



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