Simon Starling (born 1967 in Epsom, England; lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark).
Truck, Jean Prouvé “Shed” roof section c. 1950.
“Based on intensive research and (self-)experimentation, Simon Starling’s works take the form of multipart installations that incorporate technological trappings, films, photography, objects, performance, and publications. With a sharp interest in and a decisive concern for the historical and especially the history of science and technology, Starling implicates history’s untimely workings in the present.
“Prouvé (Road Test) reactivates a piece of mid 20th-century modernist design in a new way and in so doing kicks against the mummification of Jean Prouvé’s work within contemporary museum culture. Prouvé (Road Test) takes the aspirational nature of Prouvé’s 1950’s roof structure, Shed—a wing-like design that owes as much to aviation and automobile engineering as it does to functionalism in architecture—and puts it to the test under somewhat absurd but never the less fitting circumstances.”
—Press release, “Simon Starling in collaboration with SUPERFLEX: Reprotypes, Triangulations and Road Tests,” Thyssen-Bornemisza Art
“Starling conceives of the gallery ‘a bit like a constellation’ with ‘half of the work [as] installation.’ After testing the roof’s lift-off capacity on the Dobersberg airfield, Starling parked a truck in the gallery with an aerodynamic roof by the Modernist architect Prouvé. Prouvé (Road Test) is architecture in action. Is the roof really aerodynamic? Will it take off? We were there: It didn’t. Starling though was more interested in production and process than in product. The symbiotic reaction and the relationship of materials and meaning to one another is central to his work.”
—Nina Prader, “Remembering to Reinvent,” Vienna Review, July 13, 2012.