Duncan Mountford

Work 1994 - 2020

Knowledge is constructed from the interogation of fragments and the consequent interpretation of what is inferred.  within science the goal is to achieve objectivity, an understanding that is free from any subjective interference, yet equally any interpretation must involve the subjective, for pre-existing beliefs (whether well founded or not) will colour any observations.

The complexity of the world, and how we perceive the world we encounter, means that we are constantly engaged in a process of filtering our perceptions, choosing what we regard as important or relevant to our present purpose.  Any attempt to produce a worldview will also involve this editing of material, and produce a focus on one area and the consequent downplaying of the importance or other phenomena.  An image springs to mind of this process, that of the lens that magnifies a chosen point, while beyond this the focus becomes less clear until objects cease to be relevant.

blind owl2low Embassy of Albion

There are two broad themes central to my work. The first is a method of work that draws on contemporary theories of installation, museum display, and architecture (both real and imagined). The basic tenet of the concept of installation, that art works always exist in a relationship and dialogue with site and the viewer, is crucial to my practice, and provides the driving force behind the design of the work. I embrace ideas of theatricality and narrative, and see the works as nodal points in a network of ideas.

The underlying ideas, the second theme of my working practice, cover a range that includes the philosophies of science and knowledge, memory, the manner in which architecture and objects produce narratives. Multiple sources connect to this main framework, from science-fiction films, tv, and narratives, to contemporary literature, poetry, and music from the medieval to the contemporary. Scientific ideas from many fields are an important resource, and form a context for the work rather than being illustrated or used as documentary material.

The work is accessible, open to interpretation, and laced with a degree of humour.