Jonathan Baldock: The Soft Machine

The British artist blurs the boundary between sculpture and costume, at Chapter, Cardiff

Jonathan Baldock, performing sculpture (detail), 2014. Courtesy the artist Jonathan Baldock, Costumes, 2013, hand-crocheted wool, wool, back massagers and ceramics. Photo: Plastique Photography. Courtesy the artist and Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge

For his first solo exhibition in Wales, Jonathan Baldock will present a series of sculptures, installations and performances drawing from a variety of sources including theatre, pagan ritual, and contemporary popular culture. Baldock’s work often takes the form of hybrid sculptures that act both as objects and costumes – turning modest materials into monumental monoliths, or knitted shapes into spaces for performers to inhabit and activate – which explore the relationship between the body and sculpture.

Titled The Soft Machine, the show makes reference to the 1961 novel by William S. Burroughs, in which he described the ‘soft machine’ as ‘the human body under constant siege from a vast hungry host of parasites’. By designing a world where humans inhabit the objects, Baldock raises questions of dependence and control, questioning the hierarchy between visitor and sculpture, maker and material.

to 29 June, Chapter, Cardiff