The Mahogany Pavilion (Mobile Architecture No.1), 2004
Epsom, England, 1967; lives in Glasgow, Scotland, and Berlin
The Mahogany Pavillion (Mobile Architecture No.1), 2004
Upside-down Loch Long sailboat, built in 1963 by Boags Boat Yard in Largs (this being #73), Scotland, using South
Evoking historical, colonial and ecological questions, The Mahogany Pavilion (Mobile Architecture No. 1) (2004) presents an inversion not only of the boats position upside down and suspended on its own mast but also of the direction traditionally taken by the mahogany transported from South America to Europe for use in the construction of this sailboat in Scotland. In this work, Simon Starling appropriates a preexisting object and metaphorically deconstructs it, depriving it of its original function and returning its raw material back to the natural environment. Installed in a tropical garden, the sculpture is suggestive of both a tree and a sort of shelter. In fact, the artist has stated that he was inspired by how the Vikings are said to have used their boats as dwellings during the winter, turning their keels upwards and supporting them over a framework. An important and recurrent element in Simon Starlings work, the boat reflects the artists interest in displacements, processes and transformations. Shown for the first time at the 26th Bienal de São Paulo, The Mahogany Pavilion (2004) made its last voyage (overland), in 2007, when it was brought to Inhotim for permanent installation beside a recently planted Brazilian mahogany tree.