Studio Paranioa + The Studio Paranoia Expansion Pack

Dan Arps

12 May – 1 September 2024

This installation explores the studio and its role in art-making. The studio is a location of highly organised chaos—a generative field where works are formed from a primordial ooze, an indistinct morass in which they are as much found as produced. This is a place where forces of intention and conceptualisation butt up against chance encounters, leading to an inability to ever completely compartmentalise or clean up. The studio is not a project, but a collection of stuff: materials and tools, but also a set of methods and concepts unpredictably colliding with one another according to the logic of chance. In the studio, things are seen that would otherwise be lost: temporary, ephemeral states, unfinished or half-made versions not yet submerged in the circumscribed boundary of a completed object.

Employing a paranoiac-critical method, in which everything can be seen as a symptom, the artist reads the grain of the material, paying close attention to the lines of force that govern the distinction between random chance and considered action. In the suburban environment, societal anxiety might manifest in a physical form, embodying a desire to control or eliminate unwanted thoughts by erecting boundaries, compartments and categories that ultimately only serve to feed the underlying issue. Is the studio a site where these congealed anxieties can best be disentangled and examined, outside of the gallery’s narrative loop of self-reflective thought? What might that be like?

There is a powerful draw to the idea of the studio-as-disorganising principle: generating endless juxtapositions, freed from logic and intention, relying instead on a chaotic, entropic system whose products emerge from the residues of wasted energy and failed plans. It’s a system that thrives on partial and broken attention, forgotten reasoning and material experimentation for its own sake. This logic bleeds out of the studio and into the wider world, spawning the not-yet-resolved, the unnamed things existing somewhere between boredom and disaster. The world, too, is an unfinished work.