All That Could Have Been
by CAN and Harry Lawson

Drawing from Soane’s approach to collecting, the installation takes the form of three cabinets, entitled All That Was, All That Is and All That Could Have Been. Inside each cabinet, CAN and Lawson have placed a number of objects—including both the natural and man-made, the fragmentary and complete, the rarefied and everyday.

Together these micro-collections reflect on the ways we understand and appreciate physical objects in the digital age, and how, in turn, they shape our understanding of the wider world.

All That Was. Constructed in the form of a façade, this cabinet reflects on the conflicts between  developing new architectural ideas and retaining historic architectural elements.

It takes the physical object as its starting point, presenting historical artifacts, ranging from old rocks to redundant technology, to examine how objects are read and understood in the present and how their meaning can shift over time.

All That Is. Taking the form of a scaffold, this cabinet reflects on the idea of a construction forever in a state of flux. The objects within this cabinet—replicas or objects created in series—aim to unpick the notion of the hallowed or sacred object.

Following the way images exist on the internet in infinitely reproduced form, here objects appear accelerated into caricatures of their original intentions.

All That Could Have Been. This cabinet adopts a tomb-like form to examine the space of contemporary cultural production. Trapped in the limelight are a range of fragments, building materials, exhibition labels and vinyl letters.

Taken together, this incoherent collection of the unrealised, underdeveloped and implied posits a kind of completion for what was never completed or reached its final form. CAN and Harry Lawson designed, fabricated and installed the exhibition.

Author CAN with Harry Lawson
Location Sir John Soane's Museum, London, United Kingdom
Year 2020 (15th January - 15th February)
Fabricator CAN & Harry Lawson
Curator Owen Hopkins
Assistant Curator Erin McKellar
Photography Tim Bowditch



CAN Lomax Studio The Ordnance Pavilion Green Gallery YAP MAXXI Courtyard Transversal Collaborations Cinemapepe Belvedere

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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