British Art Show 7 at the Hayward Gallery London England

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British Art Show 7 at the Hayward Gallery London England

Postby art reviews » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:16 pm

http://www.britishartshow.co.uk/ This is very popular with the chattering classes, Christian Marclay is aaaa mazing and there's naked guy who sits on a bench next to a fire. Marclays synched up film clips are as fascinating as those 100 greatest film programs on channel 4, you cant stop watching, and of course there's the two track thing, time and film coinciding, inside outside yada yada, meta-level thing. Ok, not bad, but not the sistine chapel either.

There are lots of heavily curtained rooms with tedious videos in them, there are some cases with stuff in them, fake archaeology from a provincial museum, paintings which are just styles rehearsed in art schools, sculptures of one weird thing balanced on another thing, and a just a general sense of so what, is this really the cutting edge of contemporary incredibleness.

Art seems washed out, passive, lacking intense passion, a sense of grappling with existence. It looks from this survey like a very minor activity which can barely punch its way out of its own paper bag of conventions. It is a useful background for people to waste time with their brats while they wait to finish up their meaningless existences.

:D
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Re: British Art Show 7 at the Hayward Gallery London England

Postby CAP » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:11 pm

So you enjoyed it, then? ;)
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Re: British Art Show 7 at the Hayward Gallery London England

Postby CAP » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:30 am

Coming back to this one, after reading the mini-catalogue (for complicated reasons I won't go into), I'm more inclined to blame the curators Tom (Nottingham Wonderboy!) Morton and Lisa Le Feuvre. This is just a really sucky selection, heavy on installation and performance (video) and those artists that pride themselves on being a jack-of-all-trades, light on any perspective or rationale, beyond insipid taste, smug conformism and general stupidity. Both deserve a good kicking, frankly. A lot of these names we know well from similar surveys, the ones we don't, are mostly more feeble versions of the same.

We have a right to expect more from a big survey in a public space than this tepid and tired recycling of institutional favourites. The catalogue notes run to the usual meretricious sociology, such as (on Olivia Plender) 'She is interested in exposing 'the ideological framework around the narration of history' and how this impacts on present-day politics and culture'. Quite apart from the absolute banality of this sweeping project, the immediate thought is why doesn't she just write about it? This kind of intensely literary approach to art is really the 21st century's equivalent of classicist illustration, substituting Latin or Greek texts for 3rd hand Marxism. Just when we thought British art had escaped its dreaded reverence for the word over the image!

No word (from artist or curators) on why art should be a more effective avenue for this kind of research, no real justification for including a frustrated social worker stumbling through what is no more than an unwitting and witless tribute to Peter Greenaway. But as AR notes, the whole show is exactly like a comfortable academic (or 19th century Salon) stroll, for the family on the weekend, happy to be on just a nodding aquaintance with art, and art incapable of much more.
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