Chart Room
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Installation view: The Chart Room, by Max Couper 1994
Fictional land, marine, and stellar charts, permanently installed in a 250 ton capacity converted Thames cargo barge. Steel, pigment, spray-paint, graphite, chalk and paper.
305 X 762 X 2700cm (10ft X 25ft X 90ft)

"The Chart Room describes a time lapse that occured in my life several years ago. A month that I spent at anchor in the River Crouch on the East Coast.

Drifting in circles around the anchor according to the tidal flow, I slowly lost track of my normal sense of time and space — daydreaming about charts, mud banks, islands, coast-tracks, and later of curvatures and stellar formations.

The fictional charts that I started to make in my studio on the barge were partly descriptions of limits — of the river bed below, the sky above, of the coastline around, and other places my mind wandered to. Not the actual limits, but my sense of them.

A couple of years later I got these charts out and decided to do something with them. To create a situation where I could become an observer as well as the author of them. Hence fabricating a specific space for them: by welding a steel roof over an old open barge to create a room, and then making some plotting tools, table, and chart cases.

The roof was made from the remains of the 'Thames Bubbler' which was being scrapped at the time, and two huge sheets of steel from a shipyard iin Scotland."

Max Couper, November 12, 1993

 
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