Freezing in Hoxton
It. Is. Fucking. Freezing.
It's soooooooooo cold. I'm thinking: Why did I even bother to make the trip out east tonight? Far too cold. I'm hopping along Redchurch Street, thinking, I'll buzz round here and then off to Associates and then home. I skip into Studio 1.1, Museum 52, Trolley and then an odd gallery/bar/club called Vegas. I mooch round here a bit, not really knowing what is going on. There are some paintings hung up and some just leaning against the wall. It's like they haven't finished putting the show up. I don't get a good vibe off this place at all.
Woodeson is supposed to be meeting me down Redchurch Street somewhere but we have all sorts of texts, with him saying he's coming, then he's delayed and then this and then that and then whatever and then I head up to Associates. I get another text saying, 'I'm almost there.'
I text back: 'Just left.'
I stomp up Hoxton Street to Associates. The show tonight is Matthew Harrison. Rebecca Mmmmmmmmm is outside the front door, wearing a hat. She sees me and goes straight into telling me about the work. There's a door handle, a huge thing, fashioned from different coloured strips of wood. And there's a door knocker. Rebecca tells me something about the knocker being a model of part of the brain (the medulla oblongata, as I fail to take in at the time) and how it links two parts of the brain together and I get the impression that this is playing on the liminal states between outside and inside the gallery. (Actually, Matthew provides a beautiful explanation of this in an interview with Rebecca, here, and I quote: 'The medulla oblongata door knocker is itself the threshold between consciousness and activity...like the transition between two very different spaces. What I’m saying is ‘art’, the art-viewing public touches before they enter their art-viewing space. It’s like getting them before they’re ready to see the work.') Marvellous, though I can't help thinking that it looks a little more like a...
'And of course it looks like a pair of balls,' says Rebecca, sweetly.
Then she holds her wrist up to my face. 'There's also this,' she says. What's going on? I think. Why is she holding her wrist towards me like a greeting? What am I supposed to do here? Kiss it? Surely not. Maybe it's a perfume? I put my nose down towards her hand. 'No. LOOK. This,' she says, rolling her eyes, pointing at a bracelet she's wearing.
Ok, got it...
The bracelet is also part of the show. Or part of an edition to accompany the show. It's made out of rare wood and says Save Trees on it. Nice.
And wasn't there a secret drawer too? I'm sure I remember Ryan saying something about this when I was last here.
I decide to head in, out the cold, for once quite grateful that Ryan's door policy is as tight as a coffin lid. Actually, even tighter. You have to knock to get in tonight. I'm not sure if that's part of the work or some fiendish rule that Ryan has introduced. He'll be charging admission next.
In the back of the gallery I see the drawer. It's a wooden drawer like the door handle. There's also a pile of boxes each containing bracelets, all made from various rare woods. All saying Save Trees on them.
I stay in the office a bit, keeping warm.
Eventually I decide to head off. I get back outside and Woodeson calls. 'I'm at Associates,' I say. 'I heard it's just a door handle,' he says, 'not sure I want to come up there just for that.' I wonder if I should say something like, well, it's not just a door handle....but think, no.
It's far too cold for that kind of conversation.