Posted on October 25, 2007 by Tamarin
I went to a private view last night for a small exhibition just off Old Street. The four artists involved have been working on a collaborative sculpture and textile project for the past eighteen months, and this show marks the second of three temporary, planned pauses in their activity. This is the stock-take pause.
The exhibition comprises paper documentation and some examples of the work they’ve been making so far, in very straightforward museum-style cases and using plinths and mannequins. Not many people came and so there was space to spend time alone with the work, particularly in the ‘tights cubicle’, which was poorly signposted and difficult to find. The project is much the same: private, and understated, and with some pieces too opaque to really understand.
The artists are looking at the clothes we wear and the ‘clothes’ we don’t: textile constructions that we wouldn’t call clothes because for one reason or another they don’t fit around the normal parts of our bodies. Garments for hands that you couldn’t call gloves because they only cover your palms; knee-warmers; jewellery for foreheads; a kind of skirt for your neck, that straps tightly around your chin to keep you warm on cold days. Then there are the so-called ‘accoutrements': functional objects made from wire and plastic to help you put on, take off or store the garments. The accoutrements were all in a display case, but there was a demonstration in the early part of the evening. Continue reading
Filed under: art, clothes, collaboration, context, demonstration, East End, fabric, frame, Funny Noises, galleries, gloves, installation, mannequin, Old Street, Private View, review, socks, Tights, Trousers | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 18, 2007 by Tamarin
I haven’t seen the Doris Salcedo’s new work at the Tate Modern yet (I want to catch her associated show at the White Cube first), but Adrian Searle is one of the many who have, and his review on the Guardian Unlimited Blog is worth a look. Not so much for what he writes, but for the superb string of juicy comments that follow his closing paragraph:
“We are meant to think not about cracks in the floor, but about inequality and iniquity. Shibboleth risks being regarded as a banal cliché: the unblemished surfaces of the liberal art gallery riven by the ideological fissures opening up beneath. The real problem for Salcedo has been to work in the knowledge that liberal institutions absorb the shocks artists inflict by assimilation, and that Shibboleth will most likely be regarded as entertainment. That is art’s fate, and our loss.”
Here’s a handful… Continue reading
Filed under: Adrian Searle, art, crack, debate, discussion, Doris Salcedo, Guardian Unlimited, review, Shibboleth, Tate Modern | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 17, 2007 by Tamarin
Peter Dreher and Stuart Cumberland both had solo exhibitions at The Approach this summer. Both were painting shows that focussed on variations among repeated instances of the same fairly straightforward representational image. The formal similarities pretty much stop there – the paintings themselves, and the projects they’re part of, are very different indeed – but I can’t ignore the cumulative fact of their repetition.
Cumberland’s paintings look good. The best ones are bright green and brave, with brushwork that’s succulent and brash. And they’re of bottles of Champagne. One is of a bottle of Champagne with a cartoon foot in it. It looks like Cumberland’s been trying things out, one after the other, and I like the feeling that none of them quite did the trick so he had to keep starting new ones. But repeated over and over again with a stencilled outline, the image becomes more of a motif or a mantra than a statement of its own, and the statement you’re left with is the bald fact of repetition: no longer ‘here is this’, but ‘this is here many times over’. And so for all the vocal strength of Cumberland’s works, they stay immensely quiet.
Quietness is abundant in Peter Dreher’s project Tag um Tag ist guter Tag (Day by Day is a Good Day), an ongoing series of over four thousand near-identical paintings of the same glass in the same place. An earnest, quotidian study, at once exhaustive and hopelessly incomplete. Only a couple of dozen fitted onto the walls at the Approach in the summer, where the scale of the project was amplified by the immense absence of almost all of it. Continue reading
Filed under: art, Champagne, Congratulations, painting, persona, Peter Dreher, repetition, review, Stuart Cumberland, Tag um Tag ist guter Tag, The Approach, translation | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 16, 2007 by Tamarin
Yesterday I wrote about the lack of genuine benefit the ‘cool’ CSM brand offers its own students and graduates. Now I find the current Art Monthly (310, p.19) is running a very short anonymous polemic that paints a bleaker picture, arguing that the costly cultivation of PR machines in universities actually reduces the standard of education the institution can provide. It stands to reason – the money’s got to come from somewhere.
It begins “Art schools are plagued by those who see them as ‘the brand’ and driven by profits”. The complaint is that in the interests of keeping profits high, art schools have cut costs by dropping facilities, reducing staff numbers and increasing class sizes. What remains, it reads, “are businesses and the managers that run them”. Seek out AM and see what you think.
Filed under: art monthly, art school, brand | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 15, 2007 by Tamarin
Superbrands (UK) Ltd. has published its official list of Britain’s coolest brands 2007/08. Top five from the ‘experts’ are:
Saying my old college is cooler than Apple is a curious accolade. It comes from a Superbrands council representing “a diverse collection of perspectives and experiences, although they are mainly media personalities who influence opinion, e.g. DJ Trevor Nelson or VOGUE.COM editor Dolly Jones, as well as senior figures from marketing agencies across a wide range of disciplines – from advertising to PR”.
This bunch may be the cream of their professions but I’m not sure they’re the right people to be judging the quality of my education. But this is the point. They’re judging not what the university does but what it’s seen to do: what it stands for in peoples’ minds. Over the past six years Superbrands has whittled down their definition of ‘cool’ to six characteristics, which are: style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness. This, it seems, is what CSM means, irrespective of what actually happens in or outside its studios and lecture theatres. Continue reading
Filed under: Apple, Art Fair, central st martins, Cool Brands, Jarvis Cocker | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 14, 2007 by Tamarin
Pilot:3 isn’t an art fair, it’s a “live archive for artists and curators”. But programing this understated three-day event to coincide with the London art fairs lends it an air of revolution, and suggests a bold departure from the Frieze-regulated model of mass art conventions.
It’s free entry and there’s nothing for sale but the accompanying book. You walk in and the first thing you’re hit by is the emptiness of the space and the obvious absence of actual artwork. The homely rugs, lighting and cardboard box chairs (marked with “SIT”) and tables (“DON’T SIT”) save the space from starkness and make it clear that if there’s any art to see you’re going to have to do the work yourself. On show are 85 international curators and the 85 artists they’ve selected, but none has more than an A4 box file and a bit of laminated A4 paper to play with.
Filed under: Art Fair, art monthly, Frieze, Pilot:3, review | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 13, 2007 by Tamarin
Art Monthly have capitalised on the recent letters page debate between Lisa Le Feuvre and Peter Suchin over the function of art fairs by inviting both of them over to the ICA for a panel discussion. The event isn’t until November 7 but tickets for “Fair’s Fair: Why do we love to hate art fairs?” went on sale today, and in the lead-up to the live debate AM have put the Le Feuvre/Suchin exchange all in one place for easy reading.
The exchange does little more than repackage the age-old money/art debate with a bit of name-calling thrown in. But since the question isn’t going away, here’s a summary of the story so far.
If you want to go along, get in there quick because the event will no doubt sell out fast since it contains all the right buzz-words for this time of year. I’m not sure I’d be happy to part with my £10 for the ticket if we were just going to watch more of Le Feuvre and Suchin pacing out their territories, particularly given the tendency of ICA panel events to leave me frustrated at the level of debate, and trying to construct a case for getting my money back. Continue reading
Filed under: Art Fair, art monthly, Lisa Le Feuvre, Peter Suchin, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »