simon willems

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Universal Solutions Incorporated

Universal Solutions Incorporated is designed around a point of collapse. Forming a community of hermit landscapes taken from art history - in which the original occupants have curiously fled– it doubles up as the counter-intuitive backdrop for a programme of corporate team building activities.

In an earlier venture How Not to Disappear Completely, numerous hermits withdrew from their respective artworks in solidarity with Tom Leppard, the ‘Leopard Man of Skye’, a tattooed hermit and former Special Forces officer, who surrendered twenty years of self-imposed exile on the Isle of Skye in order to book himself into a local retirement home. Building on this work, Universal Solutions Incorporated reconfigures the human subject within a corporate stratagem of subsumption and erasure.

Partly inspired by Simon Critchley’s working definition of ‘structured fun’, as it anecdotally unfolds in his 2002 publication On Humour, the contemporary ramifications of selling out to the team and selling out to the self become a paradoxical point of departure. The aim, it appears, is to dissolve such opposites within an inch of each other, exploring their material dissolution: team motivation maximised through the head space of the arch ascetic, reappraising worth and value within the paintballing exploits of a sanitised corporate nihilism.

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