Friday, January 06, 2006

The music of the future

As has been the trend of late, this exhibition is titled and themed after an obscure quote taken from a nineteenth century publication. There seems to be some kind of fixation on this period, pre-modern, caught up with occultism and dubious right wing philosophies, that has sort of grown out of the teenage-Goth theme of a few years back. Why, I don’t know. You don’t see the artists themselves walking around dressed as Goths or getting stuck into the Church of Thelema do you?

This show at Gasworks in Vauxhall, curated by sculptor Laurence Kavanagh, is a lacklustre collection by 8 artists hung in a darkened gallery with pallid spotlights picking out the works. It’s pretty insubstantial, with nothingy paintings by Dee Ferris and the unaccountably popular Lucy Skaer, foundation-level prints from clothing by Kate Davis, and a characteristically creepy video of a spooky face by Andrew Mania (made with support from an artists video agency, although quite why he needed so much assistance to film a handheld shot of a painting I don’t know).

I was looking forward to Ian Kiaer’s piece, but frankly it was rubbish. A paper folder with a silver bird motif leant up against the wall meant to reference spirituality (?). As I see more and more of his work it occurs to me that he is simply fetishising the corner, the junction between wall and floor, as a site for sculpture. You could put almost anything into this space but I demand more than that from good art, Kiaer’s simply got lazy with his success. It’s descended into lazy trash-formalism with spurious literary references for the critics to go on about.

The less said about Colin Lowe’s laughable prison cell, the better. Who makes padded rooms with electrified bed frames and tins of dog food these days??

Predictably, it is the curator’s work which comes out on top (aside from a scary film from mark Titchner in the usual style). He makes little models of planes and boats from table top veneer or tin boxes, in a Bill Woodrow style. Any other context they would be cute, but amongst this miserable collection they read as a blessed relief.

This isn’t the “music of the future”, and the artists only “assemble and re-appropriate historical art forms” in the sense that they lazily copy the look of artwork that’s been knocking around for years.


Anonymous canvas art said...

Great article!

3:38 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home