Giles Round works across disciplines and engages with a variety of materials, processes and collaborators to address the relationship between art, design and functionality. His work is populated with citation and appropriation and, over the last decade, he has built an extensive catalogue of references to early and late modernist manifestations with a particular focus on the design object.
For his exhibition at Spike Island, Round drew on his professional experience as an exhibition designer to theatricalise the standard systems of display employed by galleries and museums. Inspired by the Italian architecture group Superstudio and, in particular, the lamp Passiflora (1966) , the exhibition adopted a pop aesthetic where the artificial and the natural engage in a ‘playful game of illusion’, lending an unusual visibility to the functional elements that form the basis of exhibition display.
Interpretation, climate control, gallery furniture, lighting and signage were absurdly exaggerated from their usual supportive role to become content and narrative. As such, wayfinding caused trouble, interpretation incorporated emotion and gallery furniture became mobile. Similarly, the climate control system for maintaining the standard temperature and relative humidity necessary to preserve works was dramatised, whilst the gallery track lighting system was reconfigured to react to daylight. Rather than maintaining constant light levels, instead it amplified them, leading to toxic overexposure on a bright day.
Elements of theatre design are considered in relation to exhibition making, introducing a number of set changes that saw the works being rearranged and repositioned. Suspended from rigging, the works in gallery one, much like theatre flats, were raised and lowered via a system of pulleys and counterweights. Each day the position was altered to a pattern of different set configurations or to meet the needs of local theatre groups who were invited to use the space to rehearse.
Alongside Round’s works, the exhibition featured works by Alex Cecchetti, Maria Loboda, Cally Spooner, Superstudio and Evan Calder Williams.
 Passiflora, Centro Studi Poltronova www.centrostudipoltronova.it/tag/passiflora/
Giles Round was born in 1976. He works across disciplines and engages with a variety of materials, processes and collaborators to address the relationship between art, design and functionality. His work is populated with citation and appropriation and, over the last decade, he has built an extensive catalogue of references to early and late modernist manifestations with a particular focus on the design object. Round’s recent exhibitions include We live in the office, RIBA, London (2016); Ljubljana, 1955 , Galerija Jakopi č , Ljubljana (2015); AGAIN! SORRY! AGAIN! SORRY!, Young Team HQ, London (2015); The Grantchester Pottery paints the stage, Jerwood Visual Arts, London (2015); Untitled 1943/44, (SORRY!) , SPACE: Mercer Union, Toronto, Canada (2014-15); The Influence of Furniture on Love, Wysing Farmhouse, Cambridgeshire (2014) and Commons Room, Grizedale Arts at APAP, Anyang Art Park, Korea (2014)