A work of strange beauty, David Thorpe’s installation The Defeated Life Restored, 2007, was co-commissioned by three institutions: Kunsthaus Glarus and the work’s successive venues, the Camden Arts Centre, London, and Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Germany. At Kunsthaus Glarus, the work was presented in a room with two long walls of windows and a tiled floor, a setting more like a church community hall than the white cube of a museum. Here the artist built an environment of screens, crowned by zigzagging tops, whose intricate wood supports create geometric patterns paned with green and blue glass. The architecture of this structure draws on spatial elements found in the interiors of churches and specifically evokes stained-glass windows. The mirrorlike quality of the glass, which prevents light from penetrating, creates a hermetically sealed space, insulated from the outside world; unable to see
Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.