Simon Morse





'Little Bastards' on the front cover of AN Magazine, May 2010 (opens in new window)

Feature, AN Magazine, May 2010 (opens in new window)

Interview, Art World Magazine issue 1, October 2007 (opens in new window)


Gallery Blurbs

Simon Morse
I Cannot See The Trees But I Can Hear The Mountain
Gooden Gallery, London
29 Jan - 7 March 2010

We are pleased to present new work by Simon Morse. This solo exhibition presents a range of objects that might be prototypes, props or ruins, all of which seem to have some undisclosed and undiscoverable purpose. Their forms appear gently familiar, the kinds of things one might find at the end of a corridor, quietly 'on'. In their unheralded performance of who knows what task, they stand as low-key agents of a greater cause or idea. The works' formal referencing, creating a kind of light-industrial version of hard edge abstraction, minimalism and arte povera, suggests an approach to the art object as a decidedly functional entity.

And yet the works' self-possession and hermeticism evinces a set of struggles between idea and result, intention and consequence. Their somewhat sketchily-conceived or emptied forms are simultaneously overwrought, over-determined; they appear both unfinished and abandoned quickly after use. The marks of their making are left visible, the labels on their dials and switches hand-applied as if they stand to play only a temporary part in some larger drama, hastily fixed together to bridge some technical, cultural or historical fissure.

Morse describes language as 'a series of locked office rooms, broken-down shopping centres and abandoned civic amenities', and in the works there is a sense of thoughts, words and deeds in the wider world only ever being forged from anything that can be scavenged together in the moment. Indeed, in their mixture of languages and forms, absurdities and profanities, the works reveal a vision of ideation and production pushed to the boundaries of un-meaning by some overwhelming runaway imperative – to a place where it is impossible to see the trees, and only the implacable mountain is heard.




Simon Morse
The Butler's Cough
Grey Area, Brighton
11 - 26 Sep 2010

Simon Morse's low-tech devices hang quietly against walls, their lights flickering dimly, presumably maintaining some aspect of something. As long as they blend in and get on with their job the rest of us are free to get on with our lives. But go up to them in their darkened corners, on their dusty corridor walls, and see how their politely incomprehensible surfaces are constructed from a multitude of conceptual rough edges, papered-over logic, and smeared semantics.

Morse suggests the world functions in the way it does, not because of what people get right, but because of what they get wrong, and that the functionaries whose task it is to mediate this wrongness are where true knowledge resides.

The exhibition enters the room, clears its throat quietly but insistently, and says 'Pardon me sir, madam. I have some news...'




Simon Morse
VINEspace, London
4 Apr - 17 May 2008

Simon Morse’s first solo exhibition at VINEspace asks if the human race has reached a point of ‘peak thought’ beyond which the problems created by technology have overtaken our ability to solve them.

Satirically echoing the concept of ‘peak oil’ where global petroleum production passes into terminal depletion, Morse’s immensely overcomplicated machines suggest a world desperate for not one solution but five, ten, a hundred, all at once, now. Part consumer item, part science experiment, their surfaces bristle with data – switches, labels, readouts and dials, signifying nothing less than a socio-economic panic attack. Political protocols, management regimens and communication systems are mixed and remixed in objects that are at once wholly familiar and utterly inscrutable.