Peter Liversidge: Signpost To Jupiter 2009
Signpost to Jupiter is an aluminium and stovepipe enamel sign that points skywards, towards the planet Jupiter, at a 70 degree angle. It bears the inscription ‘Jupiter – 893 million to 964 million kilometres’, denoting the distance from Jupiter Artland to the planet Jupiter; a distance that constantly changes due to the elliptical orbits that both the Earth and Jupiter make around the Sun.
Between 1 December 2008 and 31 January 2009, Peter Liversidge submitted one hundred and thirty-four proposals for Jupiter Artland, spanning a hugely ambitious range of projects. The typewritten proposals, given the collective title Jupiter Proposals, form part of Jupiter Artland’s permanent collection and have been published as an artist’s book of the same name.
Three of the proposals – including Signpost to Jupiter – were given material existence and are now part of Jupiter Artland’s permanent collection. The other proposals in the collection are Winter Shadow and Midsummer Snowstorm.
Signpost to Jupiter is ‘proposal 90’ within Peter Liversidge’s Jupiter Proposals and is placed along Jupiter Artland’s driveway. The modesty of the sign and its connotation of a journey through rural Britain is humorously at odds with its 70 degree angle and the epic distance it denotes.
“The work places us in the universe, whilst reminding us that we can never be in this same place again; no experience, no location, nothing is repeatable.”
No single category or definition can successfully describe Peter Liversidge’s extraordinarily diverse practice which includes work in almost every conceivable medium: drawing, film, performance, painting, photography, installations and editions/multiples. The subjects of his work can seem equally diverse – from an enduring obsession with the North Montana Plains (a place he has never visited) to a fascination with logos and luxury goods, and a preponderance for subverting our ideas about ‘Nature’ with his use of taxidermied birds and casts of natural objects in incongruous materials, all united by an underlying streak of dark, absurdist humour, and a gently persistent questioning of things.
Liversidge has exhibited widely in Britain and Europe, with exhibitions as part of the Europalia Festival of Arts organised by the British Council in Brussels and at the Centre d’Art Santa Monica, as well as at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York and Tate Modern in London.
His work is held in private collections worldwide and public collections including the British Council, Government Art Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, Tate Gallery Archive and the Czech Museum of Fine Art, Prague.