Joseph Goddard


Artist website for Joseph Goddard.

Leeds based artist concerned with postwar architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, Brutalism.

 Structure of Collapse


"Appropriating concepts from architecture, social geography, media studies and archaeology, Joseph Goddard’s Structure of Collapse explores the idea of the city as an enduring speculative technology. Monumental in approach, this sculptural series represents large social and cultural epochs, connecting ancient conceptions of cities built to mirror the constellation of the stars to the astrological age of Pisces, which charts the period from approximately 100 BC to 2500 AD.

Drawing upon the work of French Philosopher Paul Virilio, Goddard conceives of urban space as a transmitter and receiver of information, rained down from orbiting satellites, inhabited by the global citizen who absorbs its ideology. The work appears like a set of smouldering, silent witnesses to long periods of time, in which this process has become almost geological. Surfaces present ossified newspaper headlines collected over recent years, imbuing them with traces of the media generated zeitgeist; against a dense, charred and engrained structure suggestive of a longer gestation. Dystopic in resonance, the work suggests endless crises. The central work is inscribed with the Pisces constellation, corresponding to our current astrological age. As a star sign ‘the fish’ represents passivity and an inability to shape the world, the spiritual fatalism of an age that is defined by the rise of organised religion, crusades, persecution, the devastation of modern warfare and the rise of global terrorism. 

Against this backdrop the forms’ evocation of Brutalist architecture point to a socialist movement that arrived too late. Predisposed to the entropic tendency of the Piscean city, these machines for living – hulking masses of concrete – manifest a utopian movement that was hollowed out within a few short decades. With Structure of Collapse being driven by a comparable modernist logic the work inevitably succumbs to the forces it seeks to define becoming a symbol of change beyond our immediate grasp." - James Clegg, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh