'Surveyable by a re-arrangement’ : Wittgenstein, grammar and sculptural assemblage
Bowdidge, Michael John
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Certain aspects of sculptural assemblage remain largely unexamined in an academic context. I contend that this mode of practice is not in need of theorisation, but that it can fruitfully be brought into dialogue with philosophy. Doing so may shed light upon assemblage and the contextual thinking which frames it. I undertake the re-evaluation of this medium by means of a reflexive engagement with the processes and concerns of my own assemblage practice. By detailing the shifts and movements of my own making, I explore the tensions and connections inherent in the historical development of this media. I discuss a connection (or family resemblance) between aspects of my sculptural practice and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s methods of grammatical disruption and displacement. I argue that thinking about sculptural assemblage grammatically provides a way of re-framing the relationship between my artworks and their contexts. This in turn facilitates an examination of the practical and philosophical implications of the ‘fittingtogether-ness’ of assemblage. It also brings into view a possible re-thinking of relations in a way that emphasises connective potential rather than difference or similarity.