Liam Gillick’s A Variability Quantifier (The Fogo Island Red Weather Station)
Across Foster’s Pond
Waterman’s Brook Trail
Live weather information is available here:
Liam Gillick’s A Variability Quantifier (The Fogo Island Red Weather Station), 2022 is an artwork intended to function as an operational weather station for Fogo Island. It gathers local weather data and is a place for education, reflection, and discussion. The site and work are open and people are encouraged to visit the weather station year round.
In reference to the traditional and primary industry on Fogo Island, the structure of the work quotes the traditional fishing stages found across Fogo Island, structures that are located at the water’s edge or “landwash” and were used to process fish in the production of salt cod for centuries, during Newfoundland’s participation in the inshore fishery.
As a functional weather station, it is gathering and reporting local weather conditions, tracking essential data that can be used in mapping the changing climate on Fogo Island and providing more accurate readings of the current weather conditions. Prior to its arrival, the weather conditions on Fogo Island were reliant on triangulated weather updates from Twillingate, approximately a hundred kilometres away. The Weather Station asserts the importance of connecting with local weather, especially as our climate because increasingly fragile.
“Fogo Islanders’ have a front row seat to changes in ‘Iceberg Alley. There is a lot of collective awareness and wisdom on this island. The artwork is about recognizing the daily consciousness of an island life; it is for and about the people of Fogo Island.” — Liam Gillick
The Fogo Island Red Weather Station is a node within the World Weather Network, a constellation of weather stations set up by 28 arts agencies around the world. Since the Summer Solstice of 2022, artists, writers, and communities have been sharing observations, stories, reflections, and images about their local weather, creating an archipelago of voices and viewpoints about the changing climate.
The Fogo Island Red Weather Station has been acquired by the National Gallery of Canada as part of its National Outreach initiative, in which artworks from the collection are sited and maintained at localities across the country.
The Fogo Island Red Weather Station is generously supported by Steven and Lynda Latner.
Liam Gillick is an artist based in New York working across diverse forms, including installation, video and sound. A theorist, curator and educator as well as an artist, his wider body of work includes published essays and texts, lectures, curatorial and collaborative projects. Gillick’s work reflects upon conditions of production in a post-industrial landscape including the aesthetics of economy, labour and social organisation. His work exposes the dysfunctional aspects of a modernist legacy in terms of abstraction and architecture when framed within a globalized, neo-liberal consensus, and extends into structural rethinking of the exhibition as a form. He has produced a number of short films since the late 2000s which address the construction of the creative persona in light of the enduring mutability of the contemporary artist as a cultural figure. Margin Time (2012) The Heavenly Lagoon (2013) and Hamilton: A Film by Liam Gillick (2014). The book Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820 was published by Columbia University Press in March 2016. Gillick’s work has been included in numerous important exhibitions including documenta and the Venice, Berlin and Istanbul Biennales – representing Germany in 2009 in Venice. Solo museum exhibitions have taken place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Tate in London. Gillick’s work is held in many important public collections including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Bilbao and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Over the last twenty five years Gillick has also been a prolific writer and critic of contemporary art – contributing to Artforum, October, Frieze and e-flux Journal. He is the author of a number of books including a volume of his selected critical writing. High profile public works include the British Government Home Office (Interior Ministry) building in London and the Lufthansa Headquarters in Frankfurt. Throughout this time Gillick has extended his practice into experimental venues and collaborative projects with artists including Philippe Parreno, Lawrence Weiner, Louise Lawler, Adam Pendleton and the band New Order, in a series of concerts in Manchester, Turin and Vienna.