2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997
09.01.2009 - 21.02.2009, Berlin
A Weak Light Flickering
We are pleased to present „A Weak Light Flickering“, an installation by the British artist David Thorpe, in our Berlin
Drawing on the form of a paravent, several elements set up in a rectangle construe an immanent room within a room.
The structure is made of dark wooden panels and inlaid with a double layer of painted glass, displaying a geometrical
grating of colour fields. While the exterior glass panes show warm, earthy tones, the panes that are visible from the
interior are coated with deep green nuances. The installation’s form and shape create a fragile yet defensive
architectural structure, which marks an aesthetically autonomous space - framing it in the sense of a perimeter and
demarcation - within which six panels are hung.
David Thorpe painted six poems in lucid green oil paint onto thin paper, reminiscent of newsprint due to its semitransparency,
and integrated these into the temporary architectural piece as panels. The typeface as well as the design
and vocabulary used draw on the pamphlets of the Ranters - a nonconformist denomination in the age of the British
Commonwealth (1649-1660) and the English Civil War. In a tone both heroically proclamative and also wistful, Thorpe’s
pictorial written pieces recount a visionary, prophetic body of thought, cleaving to a pantheistic as well as subjectively
idealistic ideology. Emphatically heralding a belief in an all-encompassing and individually internalised divinity through
the medium of literature recalls the style of 17th and 18th century “enthusiastic writing” – and finds its expression in
Thorpe’s poems as an associative, narrative, self-circulating monologue about existence, development and evanescence.
The corpus of Thorpe’s poetry is constituted in particular by an expressive and manic rhetoric style, recalling Abiezer
Coppe (a follower of the Ranters), as well as the corporeality of the verse, as found in poems by William Blake. The
agglomerations of words that David Thorpe composes form a kind of anthem, concomitant as celebratory songs and as
lyrical poetry. Similiar to the way that the jazz composer Sun Ra understood his music as melodised poetry, Thorpe
integrates a musical element in his poems, characterised by a rhythmic word structure. Repitition (as reiteration and as
duplication) and breaks in repitition form the choral basis of his narrative notations.
David Thorpe does not only sieze on historical, literature-based utopias by interweaving and incorperating a socialistic
romanticism in his art – much like the utopian writings of William Morris- and reflecting upon the wild and primal (as in
D. H. Lawrence’s work). Rather, the artist participates with these utopias in his eidetic vocabulary to describe his own
idealism, which is articulated fragmentarily in the watercolour-like poems, creating a visionary and real picture. As an
extroversion of the inward, and as a cultivation of the self, the narrative hymn of David Thorpe’s poetry creates a
connecting link between his drawings, collages and sculptures, and unifies these within the spatial installations to the
tune of a silent melody, forming a shimmering costume of symbolic language.
(Translation Zoe Miller)