Influenced by Henry David Thoreau’s critique of the industrial revolution in Walden (1854), in which he adopts traditional practices to highlight societal flaws, the three works that compose Bellosguardo’s Sometimes making nothing leads to something borrow from the vernaculars of construction and basketball to highlight our contemporary prioritisation of productivity over craft. Bellosguardo trained as a stonemason before working as a bricklayer and plays basketball recreationally. Bellosguardo writes “stonemasons prioritise aesthetics, while bricklayers focus on output” and in basketball “a player who constantly misses shots is labelled a bricklayer”.
Standing inside of this multi-media installation, watching him frantically make and throw mud bricks through a basketball hoop to the tune and increasing tempo of the beep test in video Master of none, how does Bellosguardo’s critique make you feel? Beep. Has your heart rate increaseed? Beep. Is there a notification that you need to check? Beep. Is there a deadline you’ve neglected? Beep. Do you want a coffee, to go outside and vape maybe? Beep. Will that help you be better, work harder? Most likely not. It’s 2023 and we’re all just throwing mud at the wall to see if it sticks.
Anador Walsh, Throwing mud at a wall to see if it sticks, 2023.
Sometimes making nothing leads to something, is an exhibition of new work, exploring ideas of success, persistence, and failure. This show responds to an experimental performance that adapts mythologies of Sisyphus as a generative force for making work. Commandeering the recurrent nature of action, failure, and repeat. Re-establishing the intersection between labourer and artist relocates the maker as an embodiment of athleticism and duress. Compounded are mud brick methodologies, basketball culture, and construction materiality - culminating in a genesis of absurd processes and outcomes.