Kieren Reed’s multifaceted practice encompassing sculpture, performance and installation explores the conceptual space between form and functionality, between the mass-produced and the artist’s inimitable skill of making. Using traditional architectural construction techniques - often incorporating natural materials alongside found objects and readymades - Reed meticulously recreates large-scale, commonplace functional structures (such as a tourist information kiosk, a 1960s recording booth or an Irish seafaring boat) and then re-positions them out in the world as sites for engagement and discourse. As Reed explains, “Artworks for me need both to act in real terms as well as simultaneously functioning aesthetically as sculpture. This duality ensures it never becomes a static work, it is always part of a negotiation - both functional and purely aesthetic.”
Every one of Reed’s sculptural installations are rigorously researched and conceptually linked to a specific site, space or situation. Within the frame of the Ritter/Zamet gallery space, he has seamlessly constructed from scratch a life-sized, fully functioning cabin intended to reference a library, reading room or workspace. Within the perfectly rendered, plated-aluminium exterior, the interior space is laid out as Reed’s personal resource of research and inspirational material, displaying a carefully considered collection of objects, books, artworks and other related ephemera across the furniture and shelving.
It is Reed’s intention to speak to the basic human desire to make or find a personal space, refuge or sanctuary as well as the artists’ specific need to find and occupy a studio – a place where one can go to research, collect, explore and display ideas. By sharing this creative, generative process with the audience, Reed allows us a portrait of the artist at that given moment, a rare insight into how the idea is translated into the material.
An important part of this sculptural installation is that the internal space is inherently small, yet everything needed is perfectly contained. The space itself is ‘activated’ through the relationship of the space inside and the potential audience outside – it becomes a site for exchange, the transfer of information and the initiation of discussion – the ultimate synthesis between the physical and discursive dimensions of sculpture.
Over the last several years, Kieren Reed has been invited to present a series of exhibitions, projects, commissions and performances in the UK at venues including Cubitt, London, Tate Britain, Gasworks, London and the Chisenhale Gallery, London. In 2006 the project KADN Kiosk was shown at Camden Arts Centre and at the New Art Gallery, Walsall in 2008. In 2008 he presented his continuing architectural ‘Interventions’ series at IKON gallery, Birmingham and was commissioned to create an information pavilion piece at the Whitstable Biennial in 2010.