Public Art Commission ‘SoundUnit’ (2006-2009)

Making Public / Art

Exhibition to coincide with the opening of SoundUnit
a public art sculpture, commissioned by Chichester District Council, Rolls-Royce and University of Chichester.

17.06 – 30.07.2010 artOne building, University of Chichester

List of works:

  • DVD1: Construction SoundUnit (2009) Video 23 min, colour and sound.
  • Documentation as part of the public art commission
  • DVD2:  Making Public / Art (2008) Slide show 6 min, b/w and colour, no sound.
  • desk: three random points (2007-2010) work in progress, desk, A4 prints, pins, string and pens.
  • small prints: Making Public / Art (2008-10) Series of  A4 digital prints.
  • large prints: Making Public / Art, on site (2010) digital print 1190 x 700 mm
  • Making Public / Art, London (2010) digital print 840 x 560 mm
  • Making Public / Art, Firenze (2010) digital print 840 x 560 mm
  • Making Public / Art, New York (2010) digital print 840 x 560 mm

Making art also means making public

For the public art commission I created a sort of pavilion, which functions as art and at the same time as an outdoor gallery space or a place to make something public. It is an easily recognisable place on the campus, a place to meet or take a break. In a way the artwork occupies 2 worlds. First as object belonging to a category of art works, primarily linked to artists. Second as context, a situation to frame the art, which is primarily linked to exhibiting or making public. Because I have consciously blurred the two positions as object and context, the artwork ‘SoundUnit’ fits not easily into the standard art categories.

In the exhibition I have extended this strategy by opening up ways to explore the idea that making art also means making public. Not only in the sense of display and exhibition, but also in the sense that each art work creates a situation and an audience.

The new media works in this exhibition situate drawings and photographs of the making of ‘SoundUnit’ within the high temples of art or within the major gallery spaces of art. It poses questions about the validation of art and artists. Questions every art student will have to consider during their education. At the same time, the audience should consider these questions as well.

Images of construction

Walter van Rijn, SoundUnit, Public Art Sculpture (2006-2009).
Brick, plaster and paint, 5 x 3.5 x 1.8 M.
Initiated by Rolls-Royce, commissioned by Chichester District Council and University of Chichester.
Build by Swatton Landscape (Steven Swatton) 2009.
Ellipse with 3 foci algorithm by Robin Hankin.


Drawing for SoundUnit

Walter van Rijn, Basic plan for SoundUnit based on ellipse with 3 foci.
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