Gray Wielebinski

Pain and Glory, (2022), sculpture commission at Bold Tendencies, London, UK
May 19-September 17, 2022


Martin Creed
Rhea Dillon
Nan Goldin
Paloma Proudfoot
Dominique White
Gray Wielebinski

Bold Tendencies is a not-for-profit organisation based in the rooftop spaces at Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, London.

Founded in 2007, Bold Tendencies created a public space in this disused building, and over 15 years has transformed the site into an experimental civic space and much-loved place of assembly.

Bold Tendencies supports artists to develop their ideas and to realise site-specific projects and present live performances from its rooftop home. It commissions new visual art and architecture and produces an award-winning live events programme of music, dance, opera and readings.

Pain and Glory is an interactive sculpture inspired by the often-guarded, sensual worlds of the underground. The work explores the slippery relationship between domination, spectatorship and performance, encouraging viewers to revel in the thrill and vulnerability of watching and being watched.

Centred around a working mechanical bull enclosed by an ornate bullpen of adorned steel fencing, the sculpture simultaneously obscures and refracts the desiring gaze. In doing so, it evokes veiled spaces such as bars, darkrooms, bathhouses or strip clubs, made precarious by gentrification and policing.

Evoking an exaggerated form of the impulse to love through domination, the machine’s undulating motion points to but also exceeds the erotic. In doing so, it draws comparisons between the repetitive labour of taming across the animal/human divide and subterranean rituals of intimacy and love.

Music composed by TWEAKS and SONIKKU.