Lisboa 2nd January 2015
With a lively camaraderie stretching back to their art college foundations in Scotland, this international group of artists is always fresh — unabashedly confronting, provoking and charming audiences in equal measure. Their commitment to furthering the contemporary art dialogue is clear though daring and innovative projects such as the 2015 exhibition, BAD IDEA. Hosted by Adamastor Studios in Lisbon, Portugal, BAD IDEA was a self-conscious declaration of the recurring insecurity and fear an artist contends with in trying to create newer, better, smarter, sexier work – and the paralysis and stagnancy that can descend under pressure for ceaseless ‘good’ ideas.
If we set out to make something well it is more a craft than an art form because there’s no exploration, no uncertainty, no experiment, no adventure and no risk. [Instead] …we try to court the error, the exploration, the risk, and to incorporate that.
With devious good humour, Static State dives into the unseemly world of bad, and then worse, ideas—graciously offering themselves up to the guffaws and titters, or eye-rolling, of their audience. Yet through the levity of the situation comes a deeper chord, resonant of dismay and frustration with—and yet deep desire for—the creative process. Using everyday items from footballs to tattoos, the work becomes approachably and effervescently human, decrying the excruciating self-doubt embedded in all of our ongoing quests for success while reminding us that there is strength in numbers—and in bad ideas.
We had difficulty defining what a bad idea is. There is bad meaning good, bad meaning bad and just absolutely terrible…It’s about questioning ourselves and our values, and those of other people.
The bond between these artists serves as powerful force, driving them to challenge, critique, inspire and encourage each other. Diverse individual practices, running the gamut from painting, sculpture, photography and video to web-based, immersive, and participatory endeavours, fuel the group’s ability to tackle a wide range of artistic issues, both in content and form, with an electric energy. Their every pursuit is marked by the ineffable, beautifully sincere, and definitively riotous artists who are Static State.