London Trip (5-6/5/17) Part 1
It’s been just short of 6 months since my last proper gallery trip, I’m now back in London to see whats on offer in the smaller galleries. Yesterday I planned to do 4 shows, however I was running ahead of schedule so I made a stop at the V&A Museum of Childhood, which was both nostalgic and inspiring.
My first stop was over at the Lisson Gallery on Bell Street for Natalie Djurberg & Hans Bergs show Who am I to Judge, or It Must be Something Delicious (2017). Initially when I was researching potential shows to visit I was unsure about this one, even with all the mixed media figures. It was the content of the work, the sexual overtones, was that too much for my taste. The more I thought about it, I knew it was going to be fun. Plus after watching The Greasy Strangler (2016) a crude and weird comedy about a father and son, and their dark activities, which as much as it was down-right disgusting I couldn’t stop watching. I still have it stuck in my head, says a lot really.
There’s no real text on the show, which leaves it open to interpretation which for me is great, as I don’t like being told, it spoils the exploration of the show on a personal level. I found the work overwhelmingly funny. So much debauchery in one room. Moments of unadulterated pleasure with faeces, sticks, bananas, My Little Pony’s and moons. It was pure madness in a small space. repeated quotes that question what it going on top of this platform. Balancing out all the insanity before is.
I also watched a portion of one of the animations – Delights of an Undirected Mind (2016), from which these model miniatures are from. Crude in content, with less regard for the skill of the animation, essentially it’s loose allowing the content of innocent fairytale and childish imagery running rampant in the bedroom. Just as disturbing and funny, if not more so than the first space.
My next stop was at Josh Lilley to see Nicholas Hatfull – Tofu Dealer (to kill my hunger in daytime wander). I came mainly for the larger sculpture that combines oversized rubbish with other found urban objects – Ludovis/Weltschmerz (Easter in Milan) (2017). The combination of oversized and out external objects complement each other well. Emphasising the dirt we create and blatantly ignore on daily basis. Driving home what is around us.
The majority of the were his painting, which mixed media pieces, depicting food taken to an abstract level at times. A bold use of colour, emphasising the form of the food, which in-turn expresses the passion he has ir had at the time. All these are yearnings for what is on display, we are seeing his eye wandering over the food, longing to devouring it all.
My next show was over in the Bethnal Green area at Space Gallery to see Jonathan Baldock’s My Biggest Fear is that someone will crawl into it. If I’m honest I was expecting more, as in space for a gallery under that name. Moving on I did find the work inside inviting. A four-poster-bed covered in a hand sewn cover, with whispered audio coming from within. After watching the accompanying video by the artist explaining the bed piece it to be a very personal piece. Inviting the audience to lay on the bed and listen to a recording of his mother retelling her life. An autobiography for personal digest, and family record, to pass from one generation to the next. I found in inspiring as I am considering a documentary piece which looks at how past generations have grown up with Westerns, it’s how to exhibit those recordings that brings them to life. I felt even though I have no personal connection to the artist that I was in a warm loving environment, If I laid on the bed I would be recounted a family history from the mother with no prior judgement, a mothers unconditional love.