Corey McCorkle is best described not as an object-maker (although he does produce meticulously crafted things) but as a spatial interventionist.
Lesson / Koan : Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.
The split between a craftsman’s attention to detail and a Conceptual framework that overreaches its physical incarnation defines much of McCorkle’s work. It connects more specifically to the individual Utopian or countercultural movements that serve as reference points for much of McCorkle’s work: movements such as the Findhorn Garden community of Moray, Scotland; the 19th-century Oneida Christian Perfectionists, located in Oneida, New York; or Auroville, a self-described ‘ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity’ located in southern India near Pondicherry.
The above utopian groups share a preoccupation with systems taken to breaking point .
It is these utopian groups’ obsessive symbology rather than their particular beliefs — which are only secondarily comprehended — that McCorkle’s craftsmanship brings to the fore.
Corey McCorkle traveled to India in the latter part of 2006 to produce a short film around Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh. This film, Tower of Shadows, as a final meditation on the incontestable Utopian poster-city of 20th Century, in spite of and perhaps because of the abject state of its incompletion (even dilapidation to some extent), serves as a calm on Le Corbusier’s perforated monolithic vision. The new capital of Chandigarh was meant to be the inspiring city of the future — wide avenues flowing into expansive government plazas envision here future pageantry on an impressive scale, has yet to be finalized. Particularly, the Tower of Shadows at Chandigarh interests the artist as it is a structure to house nothing, a romantic pavilion … purely an optimistic essay of light and dark more than any municipal place of assembly, any place of use-value. But more, McCorkle is drawn to it as another irresistible and unyielding new ruin in the folds of 20th Century urbanism (the emptiness).
McCorkle adopts a neutral approach, employing static close-up shots (and in the case of Tower of Shadows a single take) that divest the camera of subjective personality while simultaneously highlighting its function as framing device.
McCorkle’s film aims to capture Tower of Shadows as a cairn (to be animated at the lowest pitch of light on the shortest day of the year). Much like any Bronze Age mystery of assembled stones, perhaps capturing within Le Corbusier’s tower itself (his final meditation on the “Radiant City”) the light of his perforated monolithic vision.
cairn |ke(ə)rn|noun1 a mound of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark, typically on a hilltop or skyline.• a prehistoric burial mound made of stones.