Malcolm Smith

Copyright 2007-2012
Built with Indexhibit

The Calling

19 December - 11 December 2011
s.14: Jl Sociologi No 14, Cigadung, Bandung

12 x digital type C photographs
1 x animated video, looped

The Calling is a term that has several meanings, depending on the context. When I was a kid, my mum told me that people who became a nun or a priest had received The Calling to do so. I was fascinated by this idea, not because I wanted to become a priest, or because I was particularly religious, but because I loved the idea of seeing the clouds part, golden light shining down on me, and finally everyone getting just how special I was.

Back in the Renaissance, apparently that happened all the time, judging by the large volume of paintings titled The Annunciation in which people standing slightly below an arched window would be struck by a shaft of light and were suddenly filled with important purpose. But today The Calling has a more general meaning. People whose lives are devoted to charitable work, or science, or art for example, often describe themselves as having felt The Calling

Perhaps I felt The Calling when I decided to create these works (although admittedly, it was not quite so spectacular as I imagined it’d be when I was a kid). I had no real plan or agenda at the time; it just felt right, so I set myself to the task. I built the set (the wall with the window in it) and collected the telephones, furniture and plastic flowers from various junk shops. At times it was quite laborious and time consuming and I was aware that I was putting an awful lot of work into creating photographs that were a strange simulation of something very mundane – still life images reminiscent of suburban homes from previous decades. But that’s what happens when you feel The Calling; you just do what you know needs to be done, and try not to think too much about the outcome.