Technique and condition

The following entry is based on interview held with Latham at Tate during 2004-5 and the conservation record held in Sculpture Conservation.

Kinetic wall mounted pole with three annotated canvases which rotate by means of an electrical motor.

The main components of the work can be described as follows:

• A 4mm thick hollow steel pole, dimensions 145 x 6040 x 145 mm, covered in red and white stripe fabric.

• The pole is wall mounted by two metal brackets.

• Two plain undyed cotton canvases with added inscriptions stencilled on with thick marker felt tip pen.

• Between these canvases, one cotton black and white printed stripe canvas with added inscriptions.

• A small electric German motor designed for cinema screens.

The majority of the components were bought by Latham, amended and assembled with the canvases temporarily attached to the roller using masking tape. The motor is operated by the visitor using a three way switch, mounted on a plinth, in front of the installation. The piece starts with the central striped canvas loosely folded in a concertina type formation on the gallery floor and ends with all three canvases rolled up. The visitor can stop the motor at anytime to read the inscriptions.

The condition of the artwork is in keeping with the age of the materials. There are signs of corrosion to the metal and subsequent paint loss. The canvases are lightly stained and worn. Upon acquisition the surface was given a light clean and the corrosion treated to slow down the deterioration process. Latham requested that major areas of paint loss caused by underlying corrosion of the metal were consolidated and in painted as they were too visually distracting. This was carried out by Tate Conservation prior to display in September 2005.

Jodie Glen-Martin and Bryony Bery
November 2005