David Rickard- Test Flights A Short Review
David Rickard's work satisfies as being unpredictable both to himself and the viewer, although hisexperiments are explained by the laws of physics; but does science have a place in the art world?On their 100
year the Contemporary Art Society saw a place for artists that would represent their success and ideals, confirming in 2008 that New Zealand born David Rickard should display hiswork at the Economist Plaza in central London starting 2010 off with a splat. In his usual manner Rickard lay to sleep the expected routines for creating sculpture and installation art,
consciously shows the viewer the process and performance involved in creating this site- specificwork. The remnants of three 400kg spheres of clay dropped from the subsequent heights of theEconomist Buildings in St James' Street show Rickard's intentions for the viewer to perceive the materials and structures that surround them, as well as to induce a feeling of vertigoand unease.Rickard has both destroyed and constructed within one piece,
undergoes three stages of development; the making of these perfect clay spheres, the raising of them to 4, 8 and 16 storieswhere potential energy is stored within them, and finally the release of the spheres when they become subject to a surface and space predetermined by its construction. Of course these sphereslook considerably different in the aftermath, one sits flattened at the base, another has noticeablecracks and has begun to lose its shape, while the last is almost completely shattered.
issite specific both artistically and historically; which is inarguably why Rickard was chosen to produce thus work. Alison and Peter Smithson dedicated their careers to developing a new approachto modern architecture which would exploit the low cost of mass man-made products, and produce buildings specific to their site and purpose. In the early 60s the Smithsons would mimic the narrowstreets of old London and the elegance of the Piccadilly area to design the Economist Plaza whereRickard's work resides in keeping with its creators' intentions.