Calvin Sangster

I create situations that explore seductions in the language of selling and consumption to manipulate and seduce the audience. My work is a distillation of both the gallery and the retail experience and highlights the importance of the fetish in the presentation of artworks. By manufacturing exclusivity, I invite speculation as to the economy of the presented artwork, and promote a series of consumptions, in which the audience; through their consumption of the artwork, become intrinsically implicated in the moment.


Solve & Coagula presents a rendering of the material seduction and fetish of luxury retail, appropriating the manipulations used in advertising, to a fine art context. The installation comprises of a glacial white fragrance/ perfume counter, staffed only by young men, the styling of whom is a collage and distillation of masculine representations in popular culture and fashion advertising. I have designed the fragrance to be difficult to place; not acting like a perfume but more as a tone or idea, one that reinforces the aesthetic of the brand. The installation is a shop scenario, where no money is transferred, but is meant almost as a film set, in which a series of consumptions take place. An audio loop plays; a purposefully cinematic string composition, commissioned to further elaborate on the ‘aesthetic’ presented. The staff are scripted and directed, and have the power to refuse or accept the audiences engagement and offer them a sample. The staff mediate the audiences consumption of the work, they are directed and styled in a way that objectifies them, whilst intimidating the audience; making them feel out of place or perhaps inferior, and the ‘objects’ somehow out of reach.


National Biennale: Derby 2010

Applied ArtsOliver WoodC