Ray Kinsella

Ray Kinsella
Paul Laidler, Ray Kinsella, 2010

‘The model is an in between form, it shifts between disciplines’
Ian Kiaer, 2009


IMAGE DIMENSIONS: W 45 cm x H 45 cm
MEDIUM: Pigmented Inkjet Print
SUBSTRATE: Hahnemuhle photorag
PRICE: £250


Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner in the 1989 film Field of Dreams), a crop farmer, is walking through his field one evening where he hears a voice uttering the words ‘If you build it, he will come’. After pondering the meaning of the words, Kinsella decides to construct a baseball pitch in his cornfield despite the financial risks to his farm and family. Not completely sure why he is making the pitch the compulsion to do so outweighs any thoughts of purpose for, or economic return from the pitch. The compulsion to make has many parallels with art and its intended function (to be received by an audience). Towards the end of the film the baseball pitch becomes an attraction as it is deemed that ‘people will come’. Ray Kinsella was the first text piece that initiated the Build it and they will come project, and as with the film character Ray Kinsella, the work had no intended audience, it was just a feeling that something had to be realised. The realisation was due to the fact that for the idea to function as an artwork, it had to be more than an idea. As an idea the words ‘build it and they will come’ remained a solitary and silent voice. For the idea to be ‘heard’ the text requires audience participation, therefore the work refers to itself as an object for exhibition – to physically exist in a space where ‘people will come’.

Ray Kinsella was produced as part of the series of artworks Build it and they will come; a collaboration between myself and the artist Brendan Reid that refers to architectural practice within a fine art context. The work contains a series of four quotes that have architectural connotations and are printed using rapid prototyping technology to create three dimensional, text-based objects. The three dimensional printing process is used as device to create a series of self-referential dialogues within the work.

For example the three-dimensional printed text of Sol LeWitt’s statement “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art” (Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), in “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art”, Artforum, Summer issue, 1967) refers to both idea and process. Here the rapid prototyping process is used for its industrial function – as a machine that produces prototypes rather than creating final artworks. The technology is commonly used in architectural practices to produce concept models/ ideas, which makes the three-dimensional printing device essentially an ‘ideas machine’. In this instance the machine becomes an idea that makes the art. Reid and I share a mutual interest in the oscillation of two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphic forms, and we approach this from both perspectives. The fine art context emanates from collaborative practice in art and the ensuing self-referential play between image and object, process and idea.

From these dual perspectives Ray Kinsella exists as a series of artworks that include 3D and 2D printing methods. The marriage of these two spatial and graphic concerns is alluded to through the photographic recording of the 3D print, both upon and within a 2D printed surface (see illustration). With this in mind photography is not used as a means to objectively document the physical work. Instead the photographic recording is indicative of a ‘photosculpture’ that utilises the inherent qualities of photography to recreate the sculptural form anew.