Nathan Coley speaks about his project 'The Future is Inside Us, It's not Somewhere Else' which forms part of our 2019 Commissions Programme 'Stories for an Uncertain World'.
Coley takes inspiration for his new project from the 19th century hand-printed scenic wallpaper 'Les Vues de L’Amérique du Nord' (Views of North America).
First produced by French printers Zuber & Cie in 1834, this exquisite hand-printed 15 metre-long design offers a panoramic view of a new world, as imagined from the old world of Europe. Still in production today, the wallpaper can be found in grand interiors throughout the world, including the Diplomatic Room of the White House.
Coley’s new project consists of a series of large-scale custom-made lightboxes which combine original wallpaper from Zuber & Cie with short texts selected by the artist. Puncturing the idealised landscapes with words and phrases ‘borrowed from the world’, Coley invites the viewer to reflect on ideas of utopia, identity and our relationship to place.
Installed in Parliament Hall, where the Scottish Parliament met before the 1707 Act of Union, and today home to Scotland’s Supreme Courts, Coley has chosen to site his work in a space where assumptions and accusations are argued, interpretations tested.
Supported by the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund and investment managers Baillie Gi ord. With kind permission of the Lord President of the Court of Session and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, and additional support from Zuber & Cie.
Videographer: Rachel McBrinn.