Nicholas Floyd and J.F Payne’s exhibition “Bon-ton” investigates formal practices and principles in the white cube gallery space identifying it in terms of a kind of fractured archive in which to stage materials based experimentation. The works themselves are much like performances that have come and gone. The viewer is only invited to its aftermath to witness material transformation and decay.
Floyd and Payne’s investigations into the materiality of art making evoke a sense of the body in play between ideas of presence and absence both of the artist and spectator calling into question ideas of labour and production.
Exhibition Essay by Julia Powles
The Impossibility of Ever Knowing.
Nicholas Floyd cut two circes out of the wall in Kings’ Middle Gallery, swapped them over and re-fitted them. Now that the gallery has been re-painted in readiness for the next exhibition there is no trace of what was just a trace itself; Floyd’s actions highlight the repetition of process, the slow coming to terms with meaning – of how we discern meaning when confronted by the absurdity of existence – and the circular nature of thought. The formalist framework of Floyd’s work, its minimalism acting as the structure that all this action hangs off, brings to mind Gordon Matta-Clark’s interventions into architecture. Matta-Clark’s holes through forms deconstructed ideas around the permanence of architecture while also puncturing myths around the solidity of the home. By comparison Floyd’s work is secretive and hidden, like the workings of the mind; a more fundamentally existential question.