The Limitations of Logic and the Absence of Absolute Certainty

Alistair McClymont

15 July 2010

Installation. Variable dimensions

Courtesy the artist

In The Limitations of Logic and the Absence of Absolute Certainty, Alistair McClymont (Harlow, Great Britain, 1978) recreates the conditions required for a tornado to take place right before the eyes of the public. A series of powerful, strategically placed fans generate a whirlwind, creating a differential pressure that allows the force of rotating air and the formation of water vapour to make the tornado visible.

McClymont challenges the exhibition space and traditional sculptural practice. The references in this piece evoke the Romantic idea of the sublime, the power of nature, and the possibility of representing it in a simple way using widely available construction materials.

As though by means of a magic trick, a weather phenomenon becomes a work of art, while also revealing the hidden side of the “trick”: tubes, hoses, scaffolds and fans are exposed to view. The backroom of beauty is as intriguing to visitors as its metaphoric aspect.

McClymont recovers our childhood fantasies that have nothing to do with the devastation caused by real tornadoes, allowing visitors to touch his tornado and even walk through it unharmed. He explores the aesthetics and methodology of science by adapting an experiment to the exhibition space and subverts its meaning by taking it into a physical, familiar and innocuous sphere.

This installation is a singular mix of science and nature governed by artistic parameters, created by an artist whose work has been mentioned in admiring terms by New Scientist magazine.