Friday, June 23, 2006

Sarah and Simon at Platform

And talking of goodbyes, as we were, at Redux, the night before, here we are again: this time saying goodbye to Sheila Lawson's Platform, on Wilkes Street, after an almighty, intelligent and challenging 8 years. It will be sorely missed. Tonight is both the launch of the Platform book, detailing all the shows, and the final show itself, number 55. It's called Sarah and Simon because all the artists in this show have one of these as their first names (nobody, as far as I can tell, has both). And that, I think, is a very good way to do a show. And here, indeed, is a Simon. Simon Bedwell, who I got talking to recently at Chapman Fine Arts. He points out his piece, high up in the corner. It's an overpainted poster of an Indian(?)woman with a veil and the text 'Come to London.' We talk about BANK again. We both agree it's time for a re-evaluation (well, he would, wouldn't he?). I tell him that when history is being made there are usually very few people looking at it. He mentions Chris Burden nailed to the Volkswagen ('Transfixed', 1974, factlovers). There were, like, 7 people who saw that. I think of the places I've been over the last few months. By that criteria I've seen quite a lot of history being made...
There's a good crowd here tonight. Patrick Brill (aka Bob and Roberta Smith) is holding two inside-out crisp packets full of beer bottle tops. A new work perhaps? An impromptu performance piece? No, just something his little son has collected and got bored with so given to Dad. Mum is there too - Jessica Voorsanger - and their little daughter runs between them at either end of the street crowd, passing messages.
Anyway, Patrick is talking about a Ken Ardley Playboys gig sometime in August. That's a real blast from the past - I didn't even know they were still going (are they all still alive?). I guess you should watch this space.
Mathieu Copeland is there too, wearing big shades and talking about being a curator and curating (probably).
Warren Neidich is there. He's always around. But never seems to know quite where he is. Whenever I see him at a private view he's always, hi, what's this place? What sort of work do they show? What's it like? As though he's been given a time and a place and told to just 'Be there!' Or as though he has just recently landed. And indeed, tonight, he arrives with a large suitcase on wheels. So, maybe he really has just landed. I introduce to him Lisa Penny - what sort of work do you do, she asks? And he's off: within the first sentence he's into cafes as improvisational theatres and, blimey, he's mentioning non-places... He used to lecture at Goldsmiths. You can tell.
Back into the show for a look around and more beer. Two nice early pieces by Simon Patterson: Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova from 1993. Big cream canvases with simple black text. A fantastic, thickly painted advert for a Tracey Emin show from, I think, Artforum, by Simon Linke. The paint is slathered on so thickly and the text picked out so finely and precisely. I marvel at the skill of this.
Simon Popper, who was in this year's Beck's Futures, has a piece in the show. Two pieces of paper side by side with stamps on. On the left hand side the Queen, on black/blue stamps and on the right - is that Abraham Lincoln in red stamps? I guess there must be a lot more to this (knowing what Popper's like) but I can't help just being drawn into it, simply for what it is. It really is a very good piece.
Up on the ceiling is a small piece by Sarah Staton. A watercolour of the word, and, I guess, place, Wigan. I don't see Sarah around but I do remember her from years back when she was doing Sarah Staton's Supastore. It was a travelling 'shop' or 'boutique' of editions and multiples, appearing in disused spaces and galleries. It was quite a thing at the time. I remember it had Bez masks by Jeremy Deller and aviator glasses by Fiona Banner.
Outside in the street people are meeting up. Sally Underwood appears and I am sorting out my camera to take her photo, pointing it at the ground when Lisa Penny looks at the screen and says: take that photo. So I do. It's the one at the top of this entry. Lisa is wearing the pink ones and Sally the red. It seems as good a time as any to say goodbye.
Goodbye Platform.
It Just Won't Be The Same Without You.
platform pics


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