Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Office Politix

I take a walk up Brick Lane to catch Office Politix, curated by Emma Holden and Angie Hicks. It's a beautiful warm evening, the first pv of the summer months...
I'm supposed to meet up with John Hayvend but he's a no show...(hasn't this happened before?). Anyway, I collect a beer and stroll around.
We are in a half converted shop, I think. There's breeze blocks and a bit of plastering. And a real mix of work. The one piece everyone notices and doesn't notice is 'Rebel' by Christopher Davies, a lifesize geezer (that's him, above) on a little scooter. Me, and plenty of others first see him out the corner of eyes and think he's just another punter, then suddeny realise he's not real...
Hard, though, not to notice Calum F Kerr, who is doing a performance piece in the galley upgrading people's bagels (or beigels) bought just down the road. 'Health and Safety' he keeps muttering, pulling on cellophane gloves and filling up people's bagels. It's called Beigelore. I never properly figure this piece out. Or maybe I never quite figure Calum out. It's just another one of Calum's pieces. There are so many of them.
There's a cellar here too. You go down some steps and walk into the unique smell of simultaneously damp/dry, chilly dust that cellars have. There's a video piece down there by Angie Hicks, a piece showing a girl filing her nails, the action overlaid with loud sawing. Being down here it's lent a sinister quality which maybe overstates the point, because in many ways it's quite a delicate and subtle work. I go and stand down there twice.
Emma Holden has displayed a line of blue flower pots with different species of nettles growing in them. With reference to the office I can only get an image of large rubber plants, but never mind, I love nettles. No, seriously, I do. I think they're beautiful. Full of a childhood evil and intensity. So whatever the intention, I particularly love this piece.
I also pick up a leaflet by Jenny Baines on Office Free Climbing, like parkour for offices. Which is nice, and also makes me think of James Ford's House Gymnastics, which in turn made me think back to Lucy Gunning's film of her Climbing Round My Room (1993). I guess it's just such a good thing to do...
I am pondering leaving, having another beer, wondering what kind of photo to take and, feeling a little tired already, suddenly realise that I have glazed over somewhat, when Beth Greenacre from Rokeby appears. 'Are you alright?' she asks. I realise that I was probably looking a bit odd. But then I get it back and we have a chat. She's here for Sam Dargan's work. Then it's an invite to Rokeby next week. Then I ask her to hold a bottle of beer so I can take a photo. She gives me a look which says 'you poor, strange boy', but obliges just the same...


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