1 January 2010
An artwork reflecting the times we live in.
The HouseLandscape artist Kane Cunningham has used his credit card to buy a house that is about to fall into the sea.
A bungalow at Knipe Point in Scarborough, North Yorkshire – near the scene of the infamous Holbeck Hotel cliff collapse 16 years ago has been condemned after a fresh landslip. Cunningham states:
‘I’ve bought a house that will be the next one to fall over the cliff. It feels like I have no choice. I’m going to rig the house with cameras and film the last sunrise before nature claims its bounty.
‘It’s the perfect site-specific installation - a stark reminder of lost dreams, financial disaster and threatening sealevels. It’s global recession and global warming encapsulated. This little house is feet away from the edge of thecliff – it can go at any moment. The idea is to create an artwork on a scale never been seen before in North Yorkshire and to stimulate within the imagination of the public the idea that this house falling into the sea can become a work of art. If the aim of art is to stimulate discussion and debate on issues, then surely this will get people talking.'
Cunningham best known for his landscape paintings said 'My work has always been about understanding the social and political context of landscape; the house is just a development of these ideas'.
Cunningham who bought the house on his credit card for £3,000 said, 'the house was worth over £150,000 two years ago, now it is worth just a fraction of the original price. The purchase of this house on my credit card is a deliberate financial transaction suggesting the link to credit, sub prime mortgages, property ownership, debt, loans, the financial markets, property speculation, boom and bust'.
One idea, which has emerged recently as a consequence of the work, is to invite people to send me letters on any subject, these will be pinned to a wall as part of the artwork, then destroyed as the house disappears. So who knows what they may contain!
This is called the ‘Last Post’, as the address will one day cease to exist and so it’s a rare opportunity to participate in an original and unique work of art.
Finally 'The House' in many ways epitomises the decade, of unprecedented greed, of lies and deceit, the art market, credit debt, war and conflict across the world. It’s a symbol that can be interpretive in many ways.
The timing of the press release is deliberate, just after Copenhagen and just before Christmas when all focus is on the home, when families come together and when we all reflect upon things we feel are important.
Just after Christmas we will have a webcam to see the sunrise and possible destruction of the house as it goes over the cliff, so please visit the site again to see new work being produced as I go along. To include video, digital photographs, paintings, prints, sculptures and site specific work within the house as I physically deconstruct the building over the next few weeks.
Send mail art (no deadline, but time is obviously of the essence) to:
The Last Post
20 Knipe Point
North Yorkshire, England
To read more about this land slip (including footage of other homes affected): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/north_yorkshire/8429152.stm