I'm south of the river so feeling a little uneasy already, trying to find a new gallery called Yujiro which is on some industrial estate. It's dark and I see a girl wandering round with a similar email print out to the one I am clutching, for the show The Universe in a Handkerchief. We join up and stalk through lots of buildings and eventually find Block A, go up about five flights of stairs (there's a lift but by this time neither of us are feeling keen) and we get there and it's all ok. In fact, better than ok - we're in what looks like a good show....
Sometimes when you walk into a gallery (especially one you've never been to before) you know instantly that you have walked into a good show or a bad - the size of the gallery, the layout of the works, the amount of pieces, the colours even, the smell, the vibe, something...
And also, as an added bonus, I have to say, being served saki in small wooden boxes instead of green bottles of beer, is a complete winner. Even if everyone does end up spilling quite a lot down their chins.
I'm chiefly here because Giorgio Sadotti (above) has some work in here and I see his stuff almost immediately. How could anyone miss it? Plastered up all the way round the gallery is a series of large (maybe) arbitary words, in a range of fonts and backgrounds and styles, all prefixed with word 'not': 'Not averse. Not useless. Not these. Not promised... I also notice that actually these words don't go all the way round the gallery in a single strip - they are in the spaces between the other individual artists works. Bet Giorgio didn't like that, I think. He always likes things to have a completeness, a unity. And to get his own way. Then I think: how on earth did they get him to compromise on this? Was there money involved? A gun to the head? Concrete shoes??
I have a wander round. In the middle of the first part of this big gallery space are a collection of video pieces by Eric Hattan. Odd clips of a shopping trolley freewheeling across a car park and crashing into a car; a large mechanical digger dropping a large heavy ball onto a bridge and slowly demolishing it; people crossing roads; humdrum, slightly off-beat things. And the monitors are looking out from a pile of cardboard boxes. It's good.
A weird, very loud mishmash of sounds suddenly start thumping and wailing thru the gallery, replacing the clattering chatter. Then another sound starts up with like a thick club dance beat, really, really loud.
I look across the gallery and see Giorgio standing calmly by a turntable and speakers, a large lump of butter in his mouth, which is very obviously not melting.
He's arrived then, I think.
I also think, how typically Giorgio, to do a work that totally defines the whole space. Defines and influences, dominates and ultimately, controls the space.
It's a very Giorgio type of thing, I think.
The thumping sound piece last a few minutes. It's a (very) limited 12" made up of people's voices performing a techno track.
Later, when it ends and the gallery goes back to its tinkling babble, there feels something missing. As well as heralding Giorgio's arrival, the piece also brought a sense of excitement and energy to the whole place. I start looking forward to it coming back on. Which it does, whenever Giorgio, or me, or someone decides to start it up. It gets better each time. The whole gallery starts happening...
I meet Matt Hale. I've known him on and off over many years as the person you email to place your ad in Art Monthly. I also know him as one of the original City Racers, so that makes him not only pretty special in my book (or, even, blog...) but in art history itself.
We are looking at a video piece by Ed Oliver which shows a cut together Super 8 film of a guy jumping up and then moving, seemingly in mid air along a path, as though he were inexpertly, and jerkily, flying, stuttering through the air for a short length of time. I absolutely love his piece because it reminds me of a dream that I've had a few times where I suddenly realise that if I jump up and keep my legs moving I can, actually, for a short distance, almost fly. It's the most beautiful feeling. And it feels completely real when I dream it.
Bizarrely I must have said all this out loud.
Matt says dreaming you are flying is good, that dreaming you can fly means good things. I hope so. He then tells me about his dreams of flying. When he was young he used to jump from the stairs in his house, seeing just how far up the stairs he could go and still jump to the bottom. He used to have a dream where he was jumping down the stairs and instead of landing at the bottom, just took off into flight.
Isn't that wonderful?
Anyway, there are some other works there that are really good: I like Sarah Pickering's photos of shells being detonated. I've seen these before and they are great. It looks like clouds have come down from the sky to take a rest just above the ground. Or like there are trees growing, made entirely of smoke.
Micheal Sailstorfer shows 10 photographs of a hut being dismantled and burned in the stove that sits in the midle of the hut, thus consuming itself. It makes me think of Simon Starling's works. Minkoff and Olesens Meteorites of Love are photographs of balls of duvet made in hotel rooms.
I bump into Patrick Coyle who says he just discovered my blog the other day and sat down for an afternoon to read it. He says he's been in many of the views I have been to, just over the other side of the room. I say that's great and take his photo.
I hear Giorgio's piece start up again.
The gallery starts to energise.
I lift my right foot slowly off the ground and hold it in midair. I gently ease my left foot up beside it. I spread my arms, carefully, out to the sides and, like I am swimming, softly push myself along, flying, for a little while, and then for a little while longer...
square box photos