Saturday, 29 March 2014

Getting the Picture

Michael Peters attempts to find the dividing line between art and interior design and proposes that more time should be given over to in-bathroom video installations.

I remember a particular episode of the television quiz show Pointless in which a pair were asked to identify artists featured in the 'notorious art exhibition Sensation.' They looked at each other quizzically, and, after an extended pause, one turned to the other and asked, 'bought any pictures recently?'

Friday, 21 March 2014

Jeremy Deller's English Magic

Mary-Claire Wilson pens a love letter to Jeremy Deller's newly emigrated Venice Biennale show, English Magic at William Morris Gallery. 

We Sit Starving Amidst Our Gold (2014)

I’m going to come clean. I’ve had an art crush on Jeremy Deller, if not since he won the Turner Prize in 2004, then at least since I saw his retrospective at the Hayward in 2012. He’s an artist with no formal training, who neither draws, paints nor sculpts, and he makes art that can’t be sold. Take that, Messrs Emin and Hirst. And his English Magic, on now at the William Morris Gallery (and then touring the UK) was commissioned by the British Council for the British Pavilion at the prestigious Venice Biennale 2013. A pied piper of popular culture, he creates what might be termed social interventions, part razor-sharp commentary, part wry and witty quip, part utopian fantasy.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Nightmare on Great Sutton Street: Jan Manski's POSSESIA

Garageland reviewer Joe Turnbull stumbles across an exhibition at BREESE Little that he finds thoroughly unattractive, and that's a good thing.

Implement I, 2013

I've lost count of the number of exhibitions I've been to at commercial galleries where the artwork is aesthetically pleasing: bold and bright colours, clean lines, easy on both the eye and the grey matter behind it. They're like a showroom, offering up their most beautiful wares for prospective buyers. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Gilda's House

Corinna Spencer's visit to Gilda's House is all going swimmingly until she realises she's being watched.

There is an intensity to the sparseness of the interior of Gilda's House. Rather than being crammed with images and memorials to a person, there are instead fleeting glances in the corner of one's eyes of lives still being lived. The artist, Sue Cohen says that these images are telling us about people on the outskirts of life. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

I Love Chris

Alicia Rodriguez visits the first SALT. Book Club, and finds a community approaching feminism through the obsessive study of contemporary art within the walls of a half-empty office building.

SALT. – edited by Fine Art graduates Saira Edwards, Hannah Regel, Thea Smith and Jala Wahid – is a publication dealing with contemporary art and feminism. Each issue features a carefully curated selection of essays, art writing and artwork. 

As I write this I have issue 4 open in front of me: it is a collection of extremely high quality submissions that reference the theme of ‘pageantry’. The magazine offers a refreshing, sleek and heavily ‘fine art’ – a faux-dumb, discerning – aesthetic with pleasingly little explanation or self-promotion. It reads like an artwork in itself, one that revels in its own research. It is exciting to find that there is a community approaching feminism through the obsessive study of contemporary art – and they are based in South-East London.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Rite of Spring

Garageland blogger Laura Olohan takes us back to May 29th 1913 in the Theatre Des Champs-Elysees, where the audience was about to riot. 

The performance was not a popular success. Boos, catcalls and anything available to hand was thrown at the stage. Little did this audience know that The Rite of Spring was to become one of the most influential musical pieces of the 20th century, ushering in a new period of art.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

1 Day, 4 Makers

Artist Benjamin Bridges takes a trip across London to visit some burgeoning creators. On the way he visits a bank, takes a trip to the sci-fi future, reads a map and finds out where paints are born.

There is so little time. There is so much I want to do each day. Recently I met up with four people involved in some interesting projects – artists and curators not satisfied with what they have already achieved, and not waiting around to be discovered. It’s hard not to look for some heroic or romantic pattern in their struggles.
Caroline Kha and the Encounters project space in High Barnet

First I headed North. I can’t think of a venue on the high street that makes me feel more uncomfortable and anxious than a bank. Even a lingerie shop or bookies would be preferable, and yet in a gutted former Santander in High Barnet, a quiet and contemplative space had been crafted.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Is the avant-garde over?

Still trying his best to forget twerkogeddon, Michael Peters contemplates hipsters, high rent and the digital revolution in his search to find the ragged remains of the avant-garde.

Writing for the Guardian, Suzanne Moore argues that postmodernism killed the avant-garde (Postmodernism killed the avant-garde, October 2013).  This may seem a rash statement, hysterical in the light of Lou Reed’s death and the 2013 phenomenon that was twerkogeddon. But there’s definitely a note of truth in there: art, in perfect increments, is sliding into dangerous territory, more style than substance, a cynical joyride over the edge of pop culture. And that’s where hipsters come in.