Cooper’s work follows an inquiry into the mechanics of the everyday. Existing situations get folded into works of site-specificity, installation, sculpture and intervention which pull the dynamics of the world in closer for re-inspection.
The development of place, territory, nationality, production and distribution, and movement recur in works that range from bold expression to extreme subtlety, often generating relationships between the spectator and spectacle, as audience or participant, bringing the other in rather than holding it at a distance.
His gestures strive to maintain a humble and modest nature as complexity is introduced through simplicity. Everyday objects get re-contextualised, and juxtaposed in scenarios that focus primarily on the relationships between people and people, and people and place, and which attempt to transgress the ostensibly natural models of activity that have established themselves in peoples lives.
In Untitled (boat), 2011, Cooper suspends an old rowing boat under the tower blocks of an estate by the River Thames in London, leaving it calmly floating amongst the steel mesh, girders and concrete of a once communal recreational rooftop banned from use by authorities 30 years previous.
For Space to Let, 2011, a central London gallery space allocated to the artist is first redecorated before being advertised for purposes other than its own. A telephone and answering machine are set up in the space to deliver incoming calls from members of the public, but remains unanswered allowing voice messages left by callers to play out into the room.
A volume of water (gathering), 2012, sees Cooper seek out natural models of emancipation. A dehumidifier is hung high in a gallery, condensing the breath and sweat of the bodies present at a gathering, gradually collecting into a thick glass flask as a snapshot of an uncompromised migration.