Initiated during Rana Begum 's residency in Beirut, No.207 (2010) vigorously pursues the artistic potency of line and colour; whilst exploring the possibility of reducing complex elements to their vital parts.
Extracting banal hardware from its utilitarian context, Begum limited her materials to commercially available drinking straws, in five standard colors (fluorescent green, yellow, pink, orange and black). Composed entirely of glowing lines, the resulting modular superstructure demonstrates the generative potential of Begum’s systematic application of the limited vocabulary of commercially available fluorescent materials.
No.207 is rooted in Begum’s observation of the urban milieu, the aesthetic possibilities of the city and the implications of architectural modernism. Renewing her commitment to serial and rational forms and their subsequent emphasis of phenomenological strategies, Begum’s work sets out to transform the overpowering associations of urban debasement into poetic entities: No.207’s fluorescent colors evoke Beirut’s buzzing night scene, and the convoluted modular shapes recall the chaotic maze of a metropolis.
Dealing with architectural propositions as much as with the formal possibilities of Minimalism, No.207 is an attempt to condense the urban experience to its most significant elements, to abstract analogous visual stimuli and subsequently articulate them into concrete forms and lights. Feeding on the architecture of a space, cutting lines across and reorganising it according to abstract cartographies, No.207 draws powerful associations between culture, architecture and design, and reinvents our relationship to artificial spaces.
Artist Talk: Rana Begum in conversation with Charles Danby
17 February 2010, 19:00 - 20:00
Rana Begum (b. 1977) graduated from the Slade with a MFA in Painting. She has exhibited her work internationally including Jerwood Space (London), The City Gallery (Leicester), BU Gallery (Bangkok) & The Third Line (Dubai), and Bischoff/Weiss (London). Rana has recently completed a Delfina Foundation residency in Beirut, Lebanon.
Charles Danby is a writer and curator based in London. He is a co-founder of PROJECKT, a curatorial research partnership that considers new media technologies through broadcast and live event. He is a guest curator at the Siobhan Davies Studios, London, and is the 2010 curator at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium in Norway. Charles has written for international arts publications including Flash Art, Frieze, Art Issue and Art Review.