MP Hopkins – Upright in the Field Book
Upright in the Field recalls a series of recording events, read as absurdist memories of the artist’s negotiations, triumphs and pitfalls of attempting to capture the aural qualities of various environments. Through this series of ascending vignettes, we encounter descriptions of the author’s investigations of a space and time indeterminate – although one that is very much in motion and engaged with the notion of creative ‘work’. The thirty-two pieces that make up the book intermesh all kinds of performance, sounds, measurements and absurd objects, bringing to mind playful elements of Fluxus, Georges Perec, Kenneth Goldsmith and Anne Garetta.
We are forced to consider through the act of reading, the laborious nature of artistic practice in which the moment of creation is often hidden in the ‘final’ work. The finished ‘object’ obscures and negates this experimental practice from the ‘field’, which is often the most fertile and problematic stage of the creative process. Each page comes across as a succinct micro fiction, akin to the narrative structure inherent through Georg Christoph Lichtenberg’s Waste Books or the novellas of Robert Walser.
Considering Hopkins’ assorted explorations of word and sound relationships across drawing, video, sound recordings, objects and performance Upright in the Field situates itself as poetic log-book of the research undertaken in these ‘laboratory’ based disciplines. Reporting from the front line of the artist’s memory during the act of production itself, Hopkins engages us with notions of toil, the often ‘placelessness’ of place, labour as creative exertion and the often overlooked banality of the art action.
Upright in the Field is limited to 100 copies,