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Conrad Shawcross

The work of Conrad Shawcross (b. 1977, London) refers variously to ideas in science, mathematics, philosophy and epistemology raising. This installation Slow Arc in a Cube IV combines references to biochemistry and ancient greek philosophy. The work takes inspiration from the words of biochemist Dorothy Hodgkin (b. 1910, Cairo – d. 1994, Ilmington) who once described her experience of working on the spatial structure of the insulin molecule as being "like trying to deduce the structure of a tree from only seeing its shadow." Slow Arc in a Cube IV alludes to a classic allegory known as 'Plato’s Cave' by the Greek philosopher Plato, in which a group of cave dwellers believe that the shadows on the walls of the cave are the only true reality. Shawcross uses shadows to produce a pattern reminiscent of the molecular structure determined by Hodgkin, illustrating 'the idea that visible reality is only a small crumb of what's really out there.'


  1. Conrad Shawcross Slow Arc Inside a Cube IV, 2009

    Système mécanique, lumière, acier, aluminium, moteurs
    180 x 90 x 90 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2011
    © Photo : Conrad Shawcross

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