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The Glue Society Debuts Brexit-Inspired Installation at London Design Festival


The "What Were You Thinking" Brexit-inspired piece will be available for public viewing from September 16th at the Old Truman Brewery

The Glue Society Debuts Brexit-Inspired Installation at London Design Festival

Internationally acclaimed creative collective The Glue Society today debuted its latest installation at the London Design Festival 2019: the Brexit- inspired piece “What Were We Thinking?” This large-scale installation inverts the familiar mechanics of a forklift, depicting a conspicuously airborne machine overwhelmed in its attempt to raise a wooden crate. The piece will be featured as part of the Festival’s London Design Fair, and accessible to the general public, located at the Old Truman Brewery complex from September 16-23.

“What Were We Thinking?” engages visitors through the untenable choreography captured in situ between these two common objects of function, on an overwhelming scale. Its monolithic presence, towering on a 6m-high vertical plane, highlights the symbiotic yet lifeless existence of both objects. Both inspired by and commenting on Brexit, the piece conveys the conflict’s immutable nature and the public’s sense of frustration and wasted energy. “What Were We Thinking?” is also an impressive feat of design and engineering, with four tons of concrete strategically distributed within the box in order to hold up the life- sized forklift – all freestanding, without having to drill into the ground beneath. The piece took one month to design and three to build.

“Brexit has been so all-consuming and so destructive, with this inescapable sense of helplessness. We at The Glue Society have a track record of being obsessed with machinery and industrial tools, and we wanted to explore the political and societal repercussions from Brexit through that lens. The inverted forklift is the perfect metaphor for how many Brits feel in this moment, and we think the absurdity in the physical structure of this piece will help these feelings resonate.”

Designed as a vertical cantilever, the forklift required meticulous engineering design to ensure the installation could withstand outside elements and unpredictable weather, including storms and high winds. In order to achieve this, the design team determined the weight ratio of the forklift in relationship to the counterweight palette to ensure the safety and stability of the installation. The resulting design was a 250 kg forklift based on a steel frame and built with aluminium and polyurethane, with a 4000 kg counterweight. Dressing elements were moulded and cast from a real forklift in order for the team to create lightweight parts. The eco-friendly installation is free-standing, creating no environmental impact no matter where the structure is placed.

The Glue Society is a ten-member art and directing collective whose work explores the functional relationships between machine and object, often veiled in humour, in pursuit of fundamental truths about humanity and progress. Its projects have been exhibited at Miami Art Basel, Pulse New York, and Art & About Australia, among others. Over the last 21 years, the collective has received worldwide acclaim for being “the experts at things which haven’t been done before,” according to Creativity Online.

Photo credit: Tom Gildon

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Biscuit Filmworks UK, Fri, 13 Sep 2019 11:53:58 GMT