Zak Ove’s Autonomous Morris will be part of the public programming at Kensington + Chelsea Art Week, a festival of public installations, theatrical performances, talks and gallery events running from June 24 to July 4 . Ove’s futuristic, totemic sculpture, which stands ten feet high, will be on view in Zone 4 – High St. Kensington in front of the Design Museum during the week as part of the Public Art Trail.
Autonomous Morris is a monumental sculpture made from deconstructed and collaged vintage car parts, welded together to produce a futuristic yet retro, cross-cultural totemic mask. It is a motorized ‘Macco’ – a person who involves themselves in other people’s business for the purpose of gossip and posterity. Ové’s sculpture references his interest in the sculptural aspects of cars, using them to represent geographical movement, historical documentation, protection and nostalgia.
The sculpture includes several vintage bonnets from the Morris Minor, a classic British economy family car, which made its debut in 1948 and was the first British car to sell over a hundred units. The title also makes reference to the British tradition of Morris Dancing, an English folk dance originating in the 15th century, which some trace back to the Moors and credit as being the origin of the theatrical practice of blackface.
“I’m fascinated by ideas around time travel, the spread of diaspora and the positive effects of colliding cultures,” Ové has said. “My sculpture highlights my belief in the power or play embodied in masquerade, to liberate a sense of self and provide an alternate or evolving creative space both personal and communal. Autonomous Morris soaks up contemporary oral history and information, recording and storing as a ‘never forgetterer.’ He listens to your aspirations, your pride, joy and anguish, acting as a receiver and archiver of memory.”
To read more about Kensington + Chelsea Art Week, click here. To inquire about this work, Autonomous Morris, click below.