• RSS Recent Homologue posts

    • This site is no longer updated February 8, 2011
      This site is no longer updated. All existing and future homologue posts can be found at http://www.tamarinnorwood.co.uk/blog/
    • The body of the text #1 January 13, 2011
      We say: the writing of a text is its dying song.
    • The Third Bird January 9, 2011
      Here I am telling poems at the Icelandic Embassy. You can’t tell from the sound, but there’s a section where I wrote the words on paper as I recited them, dragging the line of text between opposite walls, carrying it through the air on a page of my notebook. I held the open notebook horizontally […]
    • Musica Practica at Tate Britain January 5, 2011
      Speaking of that Kaprow statement, my ongoing work Musica Practica is programmed for Tate Britain’s Late at Tate event in February. Moving the performance into a museum makes a change from its original South Bank location, where it took place both outdoors and outside of a designated art space. It meant people stumbled upon the […]
    • Allan Kaprow – Art as Life January 4, 2011
      “I’m put off by museums in general; they reek of a holy death which offends my sense of reality. … Moreover, apart from my personal view, most advanced art of the last half-dozen years is, in my view, inappropriate for Museum display. … Museums do more than isolate such work from life, they subtly sanctify […]
    • Hints & Tips Poster #6 December 18, 2010
    • A LINE IS A LINE FOR ALL THAT December 10, 2010
      Andrew Graham-Dixon: Tell me why this is a drawing.  Why is it a drawing and not a text? Lawrence Weiner: Oh, using text for drawing is no problem.  It tells you something.  But drawing is explicit.  Drawing is not implicit; there’s nothing hidden in a drawing.  When you draw for people, you’re drawing something to […]
    • As you work they leave December 6, 2010
      Other people in three studios: “‘You know,’ Cage reportedly said, ‘when you enter your studio, everyone is there, the people in your life, other artists, the old masters, everyone. And as you work they leave, one by one. And if it is a really good working day, well, you leave too.'” (Robert Storr, pp. 59-60) […]
    • Reviews and Tights December 1, 2010
      I’ve just spotted online the Jolly (Good) Show review I wrote for a-n. It opens: “People don’t like it when you get your shoes lost under the desk and you slope around the office in your tights. It’s not professional.” It occurs to me this is the second review I’ve written involving tights. The other […]
    • Shoes December 1, 2010
      I like this a great deal. (shoe by Tag Savage)

Tights on Old Street

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.

Sock Helper

The show presents as modest and practical, and I’d like to take it at face value. But the space it’s in is an art gallery, and I wonder whether a community centre would have been better, or a stand in a trade fair, or on a smaller scale, a tabletop at a church hall bring-and-buy sale. The effect of the art gallery context is something I’ve discussed before, and here it’s at its most vocal, in my view almost wholly obstructing the work. The gallery context here relegates the physical artifacts to the status of products or museum relics, while foregrounding the activity of the producers and their relationship with the works we’re seeing. “We’re doing something special here”, it says, “and we want you to consider it in a special way”. If I’d found the objects on my own in some unexpected situation it would have been a very special thing indeed. But here, inside the gallery-frame, it feels like all the work has been done for me, and what’s left is just a little bit patronizing.

The artists are reticent about their intentions, but they all have varied, experimental practices outside of this collaborative project, ranging from performance to drawing to writing to video, and once again, I wish I didn’t know that. It throws the delight of the demi-socks and mono-sleeves into sturdy irony, and makes their gestures clumsy, obvious and uncomfortably worldly.

This exhibition is imaginary.

3 Responses

  1. When we enter a gallery, we put on our Art goggles to see past the face value of the objects on display. If instead, the mono-sleeves were sold at the church hall and gradually dispersed around the world, would the gallery-frame expand and update to encompass their locations? Or do they lose their status as art-objects, without a gallery to stand up for them – only ever seen without goggles?

    This comment is real.

  2. […] final review I wrote for the Kultur Fabric blog was about an exhibition which I invented as I wrote about it. Or […]

  3. […] Tights on Old Street exhibition […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: