“Starting as an empty white room, Roman Ondak’s Measuring the Universe at Tate St Ives has grown through the contribution of around 90’000 participants to a constellation of black marks.”
Speaking about the work, Martin Park – the Artistic Director of Tate St. Ives said;
“The work started as a completely empty white room and over the course of the last three months it slowly developed and developed and we now have this extraordinary kind of dense, black band with names running all the way around the gallery space. When Roman Ondak talks about the work, he has talked about the fact that, you know, he has young children and like many other parents, he measures his children against the doorframe and it was that action and that very simple, very universal thing of measuring your children as they grow up and he decided to expand into this amazing, much more kind of universal and in a way, profound installation. I have the honour of being the very first person to be measured on the first day of the show when it opened, so yes, when I came in it was a completely white room and I nervously stood against the wall and, yeah, I am over there somewhere. I haven’t checked this week and I don’t know whether you can still see me or not but can we have a look. I think it really does begin to make you think about ideas of space in the universal and the infinite in a really interesting way but it is also very, very personal and this sense of this kind of white void when the exhibition opened being slowly built by all of these points, these names and it is almost like a kind of constellation of stars. We have got a month to go still and already as you can see the walls are very dense and there is thousands and thousands of names. I think we are probably around 90,000 at the moment and now as it gets really, really dense, peoples names are being written over, you know, maybe six or seven other peoples names and so they are already kind of obliterated at the moment that their names are written up, but somehow they still contribute to this black void that is appearing. When you see the peoples reaction to the work both physically and visually but also when they get measured, often they are very delighted and there is a very nice sense of a kind of closure to the exhibition. But at the end of the show everything will be painted over and everything will be gone but it will have had this life for this period and before that period will have been a very dynamic growing, living artwork.”
I love it!