Monday, 30 April 2018

Glasgow International, Duty Free, Issue 5, Screen Time and more

Three solid weeks, beginning with the text I began writing a few weeks ago on the 15th, it’s been a while:

This week has been full of meetings and studio visits, which I continue to love. Being able to come into an artists’ space for a few hours, be offered a cup of tea, discuss their art and your own upcoming projects, it’s all very civil and lovely. If in the future, I end up getting paid to do these things, talking to artists and being an artist alike, that will be the dream. Degree show preparation continues as well as plans for issue 5 and this months show on isthisit?, which I’m curating. Other than that more exhibitions and more work I guess.

So, the bulk of my week has been visiting artists and going to a few meetings, finalising what work will be featured in the upcoming show and generally expanding my view of other people’s work. On Tuesday I had a studio visit with Lydia Blakeley who is currently documenting the Kardashian’s various homes, capturing their lavish beauty quite eloquently in a medium size canvas. One of these will be in the upcoming show, linking nicely to ideas such as globalised capitalism and the crudeness of social media. I love the idea of documenting these individuals’ fast paced lives by capturing them in the often methodical art of painting. I think the links to current media trends and the consumer capital that's embedded within the Kardashian family is perfect for the show. Here’s one of the works, although there is 16 in total to choose from, exciting.
On Wednesday working at Annka’s, which links directly to an announcement regarding issue 5. For the upcoming issue the launch and accompanying exhibition will be at Annka’s, which is pretty much the dream, a beautiful white cube space that’s fairly small and tight. I’m very excited, now all I need to do is start emailing artists to be in it! That will happen in August, so I do have some time. During the next few months there’s going to be a lot of spinning plates, as there should be when finishing a degree I guess.
I was interviewed by David Upton for the 50th anniversary of the Computer Arts Society on Thursday. My first video recorded interview, which was a little scary, although not too bad. I think it went – kind of – well. That’ll be up in a few months time, so I’ll look forward to that.
Then I went for a studio visit with Elliot Dodd, who is great, incredibly nice and makes very good art. He’s one of the artists who produced a 3D model to be made into a USB last year, so finally meeting was super nice. The USB will be a part of the degree show, powering one of the videos, and we also talked about featuring one of his larger sculptures in the show too, folded aluminium with various obscured and twisted prints of commercial cars on them. They’re very crisp and neat. So a USB from him and a sculpture for the structure.
After that I had a meeting with Géraldine Atger on behalf of KALLIDA Festival, but also someone who works for Clusterduck, an organisation that rejuvenates and utilises spaces in London that aren’t being used. KALLIDA is a super small festival that’s taking place for the second time at Baskerville Hall in June, a big mansion like house in the middle of the country in Wales. They’ve invited me to curate a video art program for them, to be played on a loop on one or two TVs throughout the house. It’s a very odd space and unfortunately during the degree show, so I won’t be able to attend, although bearing this in mind I still think it’s an interesting project and something I’m obviously going to be a part of. So in the next month I’m going to start gathering together a few artists to display on the screens, first I need to pin down a theme though, although for the most part all the other art at the festival is all about aesthetics, something I obviously contest with.
On Friday I had a studio visit with Willem Weismann, someone I’ve worked with many times in the past. After speaking he offered to make a work specially for the group show, a relatively small painting of the Primecoin symbol, which is fantastic. I’m super excited to go back and see it once it’s finalised.
I also had the pleasure of going to Puck Verkade’s studio too, an artist who’s part of the Spread the Virus exhibition over on dateagleart. We were meeting to discuss her recent work and what she’s currently producing. I believe she’s also going to be in the upcoming exhibition too now, which would be fantastic, with a few of these silicone cut outs of the female toilet symbol, usually stretched onto canvas but for this show they’ll be falling/hanging from some of the aluminium bars. Anyway, it was lovely to visit and see her space.
On Saturday I was working at Annka’s again, which was good, although the more I invigilate Signe’s exhibition the more I kind of hate it, specifically people coming in and simply taking photographs of themselves in the mirrors, not even reading the press release. Of course this is what the work is about, which is great, although as a fellow artist and curator I would hate this scenario. What can you do I guess?
So very little time to be in the studio this week, although it’s officially the beginning of term tomorrow, so I’ll be in a lot more than I have been during this holiday period, utilising the final term. How distressing is that, although I do love how this blog documents my ‘university experience’ quite well.

Back to the now. For the past two weeks, full of new work creation and going to Glasgow for a bunch of shows. I’ve been to around 50 – 60, so have a bunch of writing to catch up on as this blog post continues. It’s going to be a big one. Since last talking about the degree show I’ve come up with a name; Duty Free, both referencing Jonathon Monaghan’s video piece in the show alongside Hito Steyerl’s recent book (which I’m currently reading) and the in between space of airport security, alongside everything else that name takes into account. I’m yet to announce the show as I still have one or two people to confirm, but for now I’m very excited.
I’ve already begun putting together the press release and accompanying publication/book. Here’s the introductory/press release text:

At this current juncture in history we continue to watch the revolution that is Industry 4.0 transform and contort our everyday lives, encouraging a new era of manufacturing that has taken on the label of ‘smart’ through the integration of the IoT, AI, cyber-physical systems, and Cloud and cognitive computing. During this autonomous movement we continue to see the corporatisation and co-option of public space, on and offline, transforming how we navigate through cities with the rise of the share economy, or the precarious economy dubbed by its dedicated labourers, alongside social networks becoming unrecognisable and akin to the NSA, developing targeted, algorithmically produced ads and troll farms, harvesting and utilising your data to expand hyper-capitalist conglomerates and increasingly totalitarian agendas.

Amidst the rubble of a pre-internet utopian neoliberal ideology, where corporations are supposedly more trustworthy than governments, algorithms have been permitted to run free, evolving and reproducing at an alarming rate. Where is the hole that the human race slots into within this new world? Will we still be needed? Were we ever? How does an artist function when an android has the ability to produce a priceless work of art, or a painting farm in a far-off country can be commissioned over the internet to produce yet another copy of the Mona Lisa? Soon, androids and AI systems will be competing alongside us, as equals and individuals in a new world order, eventually inserting themselves onto every rung of the societal ladder.

The following book and accompanying exhibition of the same name seeks to analyse these contemporary consumerist questions and ideological quandaries, with the book featuring documentation from the exhibition and a number of essays grappling with these increasingly pertinent subjects, from the corporatisation of public space and the influx of utopian ideals to the automation of industry and everyday activities accompanied by the capitalisation and utilisation of the internet as a space for corporate ownership within an increasingly gamified culture.

I’ve been seeking sponsorship for the aluminium modular system but haven’t been replied to yet, which is kind of annoying as it’s going to be expensive to buy. However, once it’s been used for the show I can use it again for other things, like furniture, so it isn’t too bad of a thing, more just generally annoying. Once I get a space I’ll be able to buy everything and start to build the thing. Here’s a more recent picture of the structure within the proposed space.
Here’s the work-in-progress cover and first page of the publication. I have three essays to accompany the piece, although I should probably also write something to go in it too. Maybe, if I have time in the midst of all this...

I also curated this months current online show on isthisit?, focusing on how YouTube is becoming an incredibly prominent space for video art. It’s kind of a weak premise, I must admit, but I’ve been incredibly busy and someone annoyingly dropped out last minute. The same goes for the upcoming month however, so I’m going to have to plan something a little better this time. Here’s the micro essay I wrote for the show, titled Screen Time:

When you ask someone under the age of 20 what they watch on TV, they tend to look at you with a sideways glance, as if to say, “who watches TV anymore?”. The new medium is the internet; Netflix, Amazon Video, Twitch and of course, YouTube, a platform that has 300 hours of video uploaded to its database every minute[1]. Who has the time to watch all this content? No one, well, no one but algorithms, as the relatively recent Adpocalypse[2] has proven.

To speak about the Adpocalypse we need to learn about how YouTube and its creators earn money, primarily through adverts being played before or during their videos. Rather than ads and corporations being vilified here, like in the recent blockbuster film Ready Player One that portrays corporate greed as the villain[3], for some time ads have and continue to be a source of income for many YouTubers around[4] the globe. About a year ago it became apparent to various news outlets that adverts from major advertisers were being played on YouTube videos that have since been deemed to be too “controversial”, loosely translating to anything regarding violence, sex or drugs. This opened the floodgates to many advertisers leaving YouTube, opting out of having their videos shown on anything deemed to be controversial. Well, anything the algorithm deemed to be controversial. Algorithms continue to be the buzz word of the day, transforming into clickbait and creating revenue for the various news websites jumping onto this malevolent train.

Soon, no one will care about algorithms. They will and have already become an integral part of our daily lives that will eventually melt into the foreground, a silent observer and manipulator that no one considers or cares about anymore. Articles from Buzzfeed and The Guardian will deteriorate and decay in the deep abyss of a Chinese server farm. Later that day the database will instead be used to store the remnants of a new meme, drawings parallels between the 2025 food shortage in Russia and the 1970s cartoon Scooby-Doo. In this hyperconnected world, a new catastrophe, meme or TV show is consumed and then forgotten in a blink of an eye.

How does art function in this hyperactive space, in this maelstrom of mediocrity and fleeting moments? To me, spending three months producing an artwork that will be seen by a few thousand people during its lifespan feels like a mistake, an old-world phenomena that feels out of place in this new regime. If the aim of artwork creation is fundamentally about showing the end product to an audience, if it’s all about the viewer[5], surely artists are inherently doomed to fail?

YouTubers are producing content on a daily basis watched by millions of people, showcasing their creations on a worldwide scale to the masses, an end point that most artists can only dream of. Spending any acute amount of time creating anything feels otherworldly now. Being fed a constant stream of content through platforms like Instagram or YouTube is inherently detrimental to how we ingest media. Did we as consumers strive for this end goal, are we to blame for self-absorbed, all-consuming, self-abusive lifestyles? Or are YouTubers to blame, or YouTube itself? Who’s propelling us forward, the companies or the consumers?

Screen Time features a number of YouTube videos and channels, compiled by me as an attempt to highlight the importance of the platform, how it’s distorting traditional video viewing hierarchies and creating strong, overzealous communities whilst positioning itself at the forefront of contemporary video art creation.

[1] Found at:
[2] More info here, a better analyse than I’ll be able to give:
[4] Is Earth Actually Flat?:
[5] This is an incredibly broad statement, although in this context I am talking broadly of artworks made for exhibitions, publicly funded institutions or general makers who see their artwork as ‘complete’ when exhibited in front of an audience.

I’ve also been producing some of my own new work for the degree show, a new sculpture and video piece, as well as a little book that I kind of stopped working on quite quickly. I’m also still making the desk pieces, just waiting for the print to come, then put everything together and photograph.
The video is another voice over piece that sees the screen and a character, predominantly in first person, moving through various video game locations and spaces accompanied by a woman narrating an evolution of some kind, with a continuously moving blob off in the corner. It’s slowly coming along, and I’m enjoying editing, although I’m not sure I’m excited about it yet. I have about a month to make this thing though, amongst all the other stuff that’s happening, so I should have enough time to refine it. Here’s a snippet:
The sculpture I’m putting together is also similar to a previous work, or previous digital collage I guess, taking various imagery from the internet to create a series of aluminium prints that will eventually be layered and made into a sculpture shaped like a ‘futuristic’ like structure/building. Kind of like a layered dome of sorts. This will also be accompanied by a small wind turbine, although I’m still considering this. Lots of future ideas and interests packed into one. Here’s one of the aluminium prints face on:
The book is basically the words from the work-in-progress video alongside images of barren spaces in Mirrors Edge, a game focusing on a future world where corporations and one major conglomerate rules everything and there’s a huge distinction between the upper and lower classes. That’s still – kind of – being made.
Hmm that might be everything, maybe, to do with art and isthisit? anyway… I’m hoping to announce the upcoming show in the next week once everyone involved is finalised, more artwork creation and more meetings.

Let’s start on exhibitions, which is sure to be exhausting. Why would I wait three weeks to write a blog… Beginning with Escape Engine at South Kiosk featuring Myles Painter, Peter Burr and Dana Giurescu. It’s the first time I’ve been to the space based within the inside of Bussey Building. It was a fun show, with Burr’s piece Descent being the highlight, a video that had been coded into a live desktop computer that saw the computer being infected, with icons developing as if it was a digital scene of the Black Death. It was very ‘cool’ and made some clever parallels. After googling it’s actually a file you can download onto your computer, which is super cool, try it here if you feel like visually infecting your PC -
Vitrine currently has a solo show from Hanae Wilke titled Close Quarters featuring a number of incredibly crispy and beautifully precise sculptures made from industrial materials and detritus. This recent body of work examines alternative ways of living and takes materials from narrow boats to put together her sculptures. It’s a very beautiful show, and I’m going for a studio visit with her tomorrow which should be fun.
Edit Oderbolz has the Sculpture AT commission there right now too, which is a kind of nice, subtle piece. Cloth and steel resting in the dirt in Bermondsey Square.
Anne Hardy at Maureen Paley was fine. I prefer her large scale installations/photographs as opposed to what she’s produced for this show, basically a video recording of a previous show. Of course this is what she does a lot in her photography assemblages, but this seemed less fun and too clear cut. I’m not totally sure if I like her work or not. Nice big photograph upstairs though, which was nice to see. Although it was a stretched canvas image, a little odd.
Paul Maheke at Chisenhale was a little disappointing, simply because I went there on the opening night and of course it was rammed and people weren’t letting anyone in. I think you as an artist and a gallery really need to plan for this sort of eventuality. This sort of thing is going to happen, you need to deal with it better than asking people to leave/restricting. Anyway, I need to go back basically, as the space is nothing without the accompanying performance, which I obviously missed. That’s also an annoying part of the experience, having very little to look at without the performance occurring. It’s fantastic that it happens on a daily basis, but if you just go it’s going to be disappointing.
Cell Project Space was fine, if a little odd. Consisting of a duo show from Angharad Williams and Mathis Gasser, it was pretty much a waiting room space, complete with carpet, clear acrylic chairs and bored looking people ‘performing’ there boredom. This made me pretty anxious, especially as it was in the private view setting, although if they’re there all the time fuck that. In the back room there was a big wooden desk and a model of the space. I dunno, the hierarchies of spaces I guess?
John Riddy at Frith Street was pretty dull, photographs of bridges?
I went to Tate Britain to see All Too Human and Impressionists in London, both super dull painting shows of course.
Anthea Hamilton however in the Tate Britain hallway space was pretty great. The floor was completely tiled and had various cubed structures, feeling super reminiscent of 90s video game creator tools and the very simple map editors. Within and on these structures a lone performer sits and moves, surprisingly sexually for a Tate show, whilst sculptures from the likes of Henry Moor and Barbara Hepworth are also placed within these gridded structures. Some nice relationships going on here.
Narrative Projects with a solo show from Carlos Noronha Feio was solid, showing a bunch of carpets that had been created using a technique originating in one country and transported to another due to war and political turmoil. The rugs had a bunch of fantastic imagery and references embedded within, bombs and other tiny amendments, which I truly enjoyed.
Pier Paolo Calzolari at White Cube Mason’s Yard was full of untitled work, although you have to be admirable to someone who uses tiny freezers in their work to create artworks that utilise frost. Plus a constantly lit candle. Pretty hilarious.
Matthew Day Jackson at Hauser & Wirth was pretty dull, flower paintings and bronze reclining figures that looked like they were made from wood. Kind of clever but ultimately not great.
Lorna Simpson was better next door, a series of modified images from 1950s – 1970s magazines purpose made to be for an African-American perspective. Lots of ice too, weighing down these magazines, the weight of the melting world.
Fred Wilson at Pace Gallery was very good, an expansive exhibition, although I really liked the smaller pieces featuring traditional images of white upper class families from many years ago, assumedly when slavery was still a distressing part of the world, with everything else on the image slightly hidden by paper, apart from the African-American figure in the different pictures, presumably the white people’s slaves/servants. Very bleak. I’m unsure if these pieces were found images or whether Wilson added in these figures, as you would assume that painters/photographers would rather them not be in the picture at the time. Whichever way it is, incredibly distressing powerful work.
A group show at GAO Gallery opened the other week which was fine, some lovely work from Joel Wycherley and others, but the curatorial statement was fairly weak and non-committal.
De-leb at Banner Repeater was fine, currency as data, although felt pretty weak, counters counting and big questions not being answered. I dunno, I like the project space and library but it felt like there wasn’t enough to do anything with *shrug*.
Another weird one was Orgasmic Streaming Orgasmic Gardening Electroculture at Chelsea Space. Another press release not really saying much about anything, another group of artists kind of pushed together in a very weird positioning of works. I dunno, I wasn’t feeling it, apart from Ghislaine Leung covering the windows with yogurt and the plug sockets with glowing night light mushrooms. Although Cell Project Space did it first, so…
An odd experience was going to the Hayward Gallery, but instead of going to the main space the attached project space. I turned up to the private view but no one had heard of the exhibition I was going to see, telling me that the people there and the drinks that were being served were for a late evening opening of Andreas Gursky. Turns out the exhibition that I'd come to see, Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future, was in the room next to the room I was in the whole time, people had just been crap and uninformed. Anyway, the show was fantastic, featuring work from Andreas Angelidakis, Julian Charrière, Youmna Chlala, Rainer Ganahl, Marguerite Humeau, Ann Lislegaard and Bedwyr Williams. I love Humeau's work.
I finally ended up going to Lily Brooke, a little white cube space in her living room, which is of course the dream, both to have a gallery in your front room and to earn a living from it, which she does. It’s also a short walk from my house, so I’ll definitely be going back. It was a solo show from Alastair Levy, which was fine, not really my kind of work, but fine. Lots of prints and wall based things.
Pass-the-Parcel at RCA Riverlight was fine, made up of current MA students there. I didn’t really connect with it, although I was incredibly excited by there being a pool beneath the gallery that you could look at, akin to a balcony view of lots of – assumedly – fairly rich people swimming in a private pool underground. This kind of ‘stole the show’ for me.
After that it was 4717 at the actual RCA, a ten day exhibition featuring a collaborative exhibition of sorts, all revolving around Anne de Boer’s aluminium structure and working off of Ursula Mayer’s 2012 video piece Gonda. Also featuring work from Ines Camara Leret with Jesses Cahn-Thompson, Libita Clayton and Jade Montserrat, curated by current MA curation students Olivia Adherne (who’s curated a show before on isthisit?), Lizzie Cottrell, Emily Davis, Evie Gurney, Nilz Kallgren, Helene Remmel and Alistair Small. It was fun?
The final exhibition that I saw over the past three weeks, in Glasgow at least, was Olde Food by Ed Atkins at Cabinet Gallery. First of all, the space is beautiful and made specially to be a gallery, secondly it’s in Vauxhall and has been there for at least a year. Why haven’t I been going there the whole time? I’ve been subscribed to their mailing list for years, just have never been or realised it was so close to Chelsea. So stupid. Anyway, the exhibition is fantastic. I’ve never seen Atkins’ work in the real before, as he hasn’t had a show in the UK since 2014, plus doesn’t have any of his work online. To sum up the show in one word would be capitalism, so of course I loved it, alongside the nature of CGI and animation. So many huge screens, so many large sound bars, so many fantastic films all working as one. I would highly recommend going, on until the 2nd June.
Now, let’s get onto Glasgow, the first time I’ve been both to the city and to Glasgow International (GI). It was a lovely experience, getting away from London for the weekend with my family, seeing a bunch of artwork in the sun whilst realising things do happen outside of London. I’d like to go back when the festival has finished to properly see what the art scene is like, although there did seem to be a bunch of permanent galleries. More than I thought… Anyway, art.

Let’s begin with E. Jane at Kelvin Hall, a room full of pink light and TVs on the floor, with the glitching (I assume) face of the artist staring up at you. Yeah? Probably not fully convinced but okay.
Hardeep Pandhal was also at Kelvin Hall with a similar kind of show that was exhibited at Cubitt recently. I understand the adoption of rap culture and it’s many layers, although it feels like there’s a point where you’re simply speaking statements, statements that may have to be said, but statements all the same, statements that are reduced and become a little obvious I guess. Shouting into the void, or into the gallery. It was good, but I wanted more, although that isn’t really my job.
Ross Birrell at CCA was fine, transporting horses across borders. A nice idea.
Raydale Dower also at CCA was fantastic, basically creating a 72 hour long sound work that occurred once a minute. You walked into a pitch black room then the music continues for a second and makes you jump, you ‘get’ it instantly and it’s truly awesome, open 24 hours too during the opening weekend.
Roadmaps was a fine group show, didn’t really get into it.
Janie Nicoll & Ailie Rutherford were doing a project about the nature of ‘in kind’ work being put into GI, taking various data and visualising it. Very obvious but still fun.
Kirsty Hendry & Ilona Sagar were also giving away a new publication at CCA featuring a number of texts responding to Sagar’s recent piece about the Peckham Experiment. Very good and very worthwhile reading.
Next up was a solo show from Torsten Lauschmann at Glasgow School of Art, about automation of work and various other things, lots of models and big screen projections of a dummy falling down various sets of stairs. It was okay, I wasn’t totally convinced or that interested in it. It felt very odd.
Peel Eezy, an collective, had created a showroom of sorts inside a mall. Selling low cost artworks that equalled the cost of paying the artist a living wage and the material cost of the product. Kind of a nice idea, although fairly simple.
Ascending Delight was in the same location, inside the Savoy Centre, and was a group show. I guess it was okay, although they were still installing when I visited, so it was a bit of a shame.
Transmission Gallery was kind of dull, an exhibition from a collective called iQhiya, basically a group of young black female artists based in South Africa responding to the erasure of female artists in Scotland. This consisted of a dinner of sorts, probably a conversation, as well as many notes on a chalk board esque wall within the gallery. Downstairs a – presumed – black woman painted with her dreads in a black and white film. I thought it was super obvious and more could be done to discuss this pretty big issue, it felt very easy and simple.
The Modern Institute is a fairly fancy chain of galleries in Glasgow. The first we went to was Duggie Fields, a pretty problematic show featuring a long room full of art in your face, around your face and everywhere you looked, paintings on the wall and on the floor, a re-created house of paintings I guess. It felt like it was revolutionary in the 90s but not now.
Urs Fischer was at their other gallery with a pair of motorised snails traversing the big white cube gallery space. Super wanky, ballsy, but incredibly wanky and I’m like *shrug*.
Sol Lewitt was also there with a black cube, yeah…
Ragnar Jónasson and Thor Sigurthorsson had a duo show within the front of an architects office; Stallan-Brand Architect Office. Super odd and very fancy, although I didn’t really have a chance to look at the art, private views are busy and fleeting sometimes.
Michael White at Oxford House was fine, a big billboard depicting a space that he’d wanted to make in real life but there was no budget. Kind of is what it is, destined to fail and be kind of okay.
Michelle Hannah at the Savings Bank was fine, I wanted it to be good, and the install was, but then there was a performance. A performance with Hannah – kind of – just moaning into a microphone for 20 minutes. Yeah, I’m not really into that, pretty boring. Plus there was a smoke machine.
SWG3 was also an incredibly fancy venue, serving free mojitos and only allowing people in with an invitation. A bunch of shows were happening within, Hugo Scott, Richard Wentworth and Dimitri Galitzine, all not as interesting as the free bar.
Next up was GOMA, the Gallery of Modern Art, with a supposedly fantastic group exhibition called Cellular World: Cyborg-Human-Avatar-Horror featuring work from a bunch of big names including Joseph Buckley, Jamie Crewe, Jesse Darling, Cécile B. Evans, Lynn Hershman-Leeson, E. Jane, Sam Keogh, Mai-Thu Perret, John Russell. So, an obvious name and a great list of artists, some works were fantastic, Evans’ Something tactical is coming being one of them, a set of a series of films focusing on an architect living in the building that he’s made. Oh and he’s a puppet too. Other pieces were less interesting, like Jesse Darling’s washing line of children’s clothes, because, why not it seems?
Michael Fullerton at Queens Park Railway Club was fine, although didn’t stay long enough to fully soak it in. I was mainly interested due to him being the artist who painted the portrait of Kim Dotcom a few years ago, featuring in a Zab show alongside Simon Denny.
Mark Leckey at Tramway was fantastic, a dialogue occurring between a 3D scanned larger than life statue of Job and the 3D file being projected onto a large screen. Very clever and bold in such a big space.
Kapwani Kiwanga was also at Tramway with an okay show, lots of heavy materials being cocooned by various fabrics. It was fine.
Tai Shani was undertaking a series of performances there too, consisting of a huge dialogue spread over 14 or so different performance and an all female cast. Each performance would see each women reciting her tale (I think), ending up with a full and fruitful narrative at the end, which will then be in another show. Kind of a cop out I think, a little like here’s something half finished, the finished version will be done once this is done. I don’t know, it was fine, good even, as the dialogue was really interesting, just too dense to interact with during a performance of 45 minutes. Kind of like going to an artist talk when the artist reads from their recent book. Not interesting.
Your Afro Collective at Govanhill Baths was again, not very interesting. Great to see the baths, which are beautiful, but the work was very dull, paintings of landscapes and photographs of women with braided hair. Important but kind of dated.
Second Nature, a group show curated by Gossamer Fog and Home-Platform was interesting. It featured work from many people I’ve both worked with and admire; Will Kendrick, Joey Holder, Lewk Wilmshurst, Eva Papamargariti, Christopher MacInnes, Samuel Capps, Diane Edwards, Ben Skea, and Andrew Sunderland. It felt like a bit of a sci-fi set, displays of props taken from a recent visceral sci-fi, full of oozing fake gunge and glitchy videos. I first liked it but once I thought about it I liked it less, thinking it was kind of dated, or a call back to 80s sci-fi, when people thought the future would be greasy and gloopy rather than how crisp and clean it currently is. It didn’t help that the show was in an attic of a building and not in the white cube, as that may have made it more ‘art’ and less prop like displays. Saying this though, some of the work was great, just a few pieces that pulled it back. Too busy I guess…
Big Time Sensuality at Wasps Studios was nice and subtle, lots of minimal and liminal works that felt like they could be very easily packed into a small suitcase and taken on a plane, surprising as all of the artists (Florida: Caitlin Merrett King, Hannah Reynolds and Isabella Widger) I think live in Glasgow. It was nice.
Aniara Omann & Gary Zhexi Zhang at Market Gallery was fun, but again it felt a little dated, a bunch of fans and a mining rig in a vat of water accompanied by a series of faces attached to the wall made up of a number of materials. It was fun, yet again, but I wasn’t sure if there was anything to actually attack within these works.
Augustas Serapinas at David Dale Gallery was great, it’s too complicated to explain here as it’s close to 11 o’clock and I’m already almost 6000 words into this blog, but I’ll just say that there was a lot of free bread and very fun interactive sculptures. Just a great, clever exhibition.
CHUMMING at the Pipe Factory was crap.
Ulrike Ottinger at the Hunterian felt super dated and kind of weirdly racist, making me feel very odd and out of place.
There was also a series of sculptures placed within the Botanical Gardens. The sculptures were terrible but the gardens were wonderful, making me want to be a gardener in an odd twist.
Corin Sworn at Koppe Astner was great, a big hole cut in the wall and various CTTV cameras placed around the space. I was fun, lots of dancing and lots of thinking.
A group show at 6 Dixon Street that had run out of press releases on a Sunday morning, what else is there to say?
Deniz Uster at The Briggait was fun, a bunch of ‘future’ drawings and sculptures, imagining a mechanical future of brands and wind power. It was easy and nice, a great way to end the trip I guess.
So that is it for exhibitions, so many, a stupid amount to be honest, but now I have them all written down I can look back in future years, analysing whether I’ve seen this show or that show. How exciting for everyone concerned. Let’s quickly run through the films and TV and finish this. I’ve also definitely forgotten to rate some of these films (my way of archiving the content I’ve watched), so I will definitely have forgotten a lot of what I’ve watched.

Looking back it says all I’ve watched is The Titan, which was trash. I’ve definitely watched more, but due to the time I’m really not going to bother to think back.
I’ve also been playing Mirrors Edge Catalyst over the past few weeks, a new video game and the second in the Mirrors Edge series. Basically free running through a futuristic mega city. Fun although the story is kind of crap.
And I think that’s it. This upcoming week will be spent continuing with the video, building the aluminium sculpture, potentially ordering the aluminium, more studio visits, more writing, more planning, more work at Annka’s and being on a panel that I’m being paid to do at Goldsmiths on Saturday. How exciting and thrilling.

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