Mark Wallinger: SITE (2012)

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Exploring Mark Wallinger's 'SITE'

For SITE, the artist’s largest exhibition in the UK for over a decade, Wallinger will realise three new commissions: 1000000000000000, The Other Wall and SELF PORTRAIT (Times New Roman). Systemising the randomness of nature, 10000000000000000 (2012) catalogues and compares 65,536 found stones. Each stone, roughly uniform in size, occupies its own square on a vastly extended checkerboard — the simplest binary device for imposing order. The huge structure makes manifest something that is essentially abstract: 10000000000000000 is the binary form of the number 65,536 in decimal, a superperfect number. Taking its form from this number, 10000000000000000 is a structure that ultimately seems only to reason with itself, albeit in perpetual order. 
The Other Wall,  in contrast, sees randomness contained in the form of a brick wall. Each of the many thousand bricks used to create it is numbered sequentially by hand prior to construction and then distributed with no order. The walls' final form provides only one of the several million possible permutations that there could have been.
A further ode to the self covered BALTIC's north facade.  SELF PORTRAIT (Times New Roman) 2012 comprises the letter 'I' written in blacken the ubiquitous font - today's default mode of self representation.
Mark Wallinger returned to the north east to install a new semi-permanent work in BALTIC stairwell. By placing two identical mirrors facing each other from the top and base of BALTIC’s main stairwell, Wallinger has created an infinite steepling perspective. A fear of heights is a fear of death and looking down, the fall is endless. Look up and the ascent would take forever. Heaven and Hell plays with binary oppositions and the residual resonance of belief systems.
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