The Knives are out at Rokeby
Pearce's brother is at the bar. We have a chat. Behind us the wall is dripping with blood and there's a chainsaw on the ground. Upstairs I had to pass a table of knives and knuckledusters. I also noticed a knife resting in a blood soaked sheet. But I'm not worried. Because this is Craig Fisher's show and however much blood gets spilled, splattered and spurted on the walls, it's not real. It's all made of fabric.
As I'm getting a drink I see Ellie Harrison and Adele Prince. They are on their way down to the ICA for Jo Mitchell's re-enactment of the 1984 Einsturzende Neubauten gig - when they had the power pulled on them for drilling into the stage. We say hello and then they have to head off.
I saw Craig's show here last year, when he had made an entire car out of fabric, crashing into the gallery wall. This show seems a little more restrained, despite the blood. The press release suggests that there is some sort of narrative at work, but I'm not at all sure about this. I think I'm missing something. Is there a torture scenario going on? There's a chair halfway down the stairs in that curious little hallway just by the toilet. The chair is made of fabric too. Some kind of premeditated killing? Whatever, Craig can certainly stitch. The knives and the table on which they lay, the knife in the blood soaked sheet and the chainsaw and blood spurts on the wall are exquisitely produced.
Outside I see Simon Ould. We chat. He talks, as he often does, about an upcoming show or piece of work or some strange project that he is involved in with Mark McGowan. I've noticed that Simon is at many of the openings I go to. I think he may always have been there but I've only just noticed this.
I also talk to Beth Greenacre. She is just back from Rotterdam and heading off again tomorrow to join Ed in New York for the Pulse art fair. It's a busy time for gallerists.
We talk a bit about this blog, and about history. Beth talks about having been a student just down the road from where we are and walking along this street, with the weight of art history pressing down on her, never realising that she would one day be running a gallery of her own on this very street. I tell her about sometimes wishing that it were possible to reach thru time, momentarily, for like a few seconds, maybe, to a younger self and being able to offer some words of reassurance or help or support. Occasionally I find myself walking along Whitechapel Road, near where I used to live years ago. It was a devastating and depressing time (for many reasons, and I shan't bore), but whenever I'm there, I almost expect to see my younger self turning out of Cavell Street, looking down at the ground, hunched, unhappy, wishing that life wasn't the way it was. And as this younger self walks along, this me of now, this happier me who knows that the story ends ok, holds out a hand and says, it will be alright. It won't always be like this. It will pass and you will be happy.
You never know what's going to happen - or how life will be.
I give a little sigh. Poor Beth, I'm not sure she wanted quite as much detail as all this.
Maybe it was the sight of all that blood...