Saturday, February 25, 2006


A quick jaunt round to catch up on some stuff. First, to White Cube in Hoxton Square to catch the Gilbert and George SONOFAGOD show before it closes. Obviously not at all controversial to anyone who visits the gallery, the spectacle is, in the end, of beauty: the colours, the production, the scale of these pieces. Red, green, yellow and blue - you can't go wrong.
Then to the Agency to see Gabriel Acevedo Velarde and a very, very long twenty minute film, called Pre-Historia. It's an animation - well, it's a filmed storyboard, which is sort of animation. There's a guy who survives a plan crash, wanders off from the wreckage, gets hungry, eats some dirt and then masturbates (I still don't know why he suddenly does this). Anyway, his 'seed' then grows into the beginnings of another person - which he then eats. This then goes on and on. Masturbating, growing more people, eating them, and so on; with some variations in that some of the people he grows have indiscriminate sex with him/each other. At one point he becomes a woman. And then there are all these tree things which keep growing (I think they might come from where he has a poo, but I'm not sure). By this time I'm beginning to long for the colourful pieces at White Cube again. Masturbate, grow some people, have sex,eat them, masturbate. It begins to drive me crazy. Then it ends. It's followed by a different three minute film. A bunch of kids are standing in front of a stage in the middle of a field. Furthest away from the stage, at the back of the crowd (there's maybe fifty kids there), some kids are lining up to see if they can be allowed on the stage. An adult inspects them, sending most back to join the crowd, but selecting one in every four or so. Once selected, an adult leads him up, stands him in the middle of the stage. A blast of light from a raised structure in the middle of the field, like an almighty camera flash, hits the kid and he falls, stunned and blinded, backwards onto the floor. The adult then carries him back into the crowd, whereupon the whole thing repeats itself. This film was apparently 3 minutes long. It felt like I watched it for 8 hours, and even then had to stand up and leave before the finish. (Don't worry, nothing happened in the end, just the same thing over and over...).
I leave, quickly, and go along to artwords, desperate for some colour and light and company. I check out the stock to see if there's anything we need back at the shop and pick up issue one of Issue One magazine. How satisfying is that? It's one of the big format, fashion tablets that we all know and recognise from countless other titles. But even so, I can't resist the weight of the thick, glossy, heavy pages, sliding voluptuously about and flopping lasciviously onto each other like a bunch of wet fish. Bliss.
And it's fashion magazines that have formed a basis for many of the works by Kirsten Glass, whose latest show I pop in to see at Hales. I remember her work from the Beck's Prize in 2002 and here she is again, but this time her work has a lot more bells and whistles on. Or, more precisely, mantlepieces, tinsel, hats, telephones, glitter, gold paint, frames, mannequins, shells, fabric and all manner of glitzy bits and bobs. It's hard to deal with this kind of trash since Jim Lambie made it his own, but I like the stuff here. I just feel it should be a lot more fun than it is and wonder why Hales have put all the pieces in a room lit like a mausoleum. Still, not much time to wonder before it's onto Museum 52 and a quick glance at Richard Louderback's paintings and then swifty across the road into Trolley to check out Mario Consiglio. There are some seductive pieces here, and beautifully made.
I have a date in town so head back to the centre. Check out magazines at The Pineal Eye on Broadwick Street, which always makes me feel very old and square (but that might just be because I am old and square) and then nose into Beyond the Valley on Newburgh Street. There's a small exhibiton space there which is currently hosting a show called Case Study. Somewhere amongst the disastrous display is a really interesting exhibition. Far better to check out the website: Case Study, where the works are all given a bit more breathing space and context than was afforded them in the shop.
Then, finally, to treat myself: to Hauser and Wirth for the Warhol portraits. Nicely hung and very clean. Bad photos which are now good photos. And also some footage of Warhol TV, which was execrable at the time and is no better now, bless him. Downstairs too is open - the basement safe room - which is always pretty scary. A few self portraits, buried away underground. And here he is, an artist who really knew about trash, glossy magazines and beauty.


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