WHITE CUBE GALLERY, MASON'S YARD
I think I'm going to find it challenging to write persuasively about this exhibition, so I'll begin with the artist's own words 'I’m interested in the question of seduction, the idea of: how do you seduce people to be interested in what you’ve done?' He goes on to say 'Artwork can be about ugliness or things that are disturbing, visually or viscerally. But in order for them to actually have any kind of long-term viability as art, they have to have their own beauty. He refers to Francis Bacon, 'whose work evokes horror as well as beauty...a great deal of beauty. Beauty is about a kind of sympathy to a set of ideas or relationships'.
So when you walk into the gallery what do you see? The image above is of a sculpture on the lower ground floor. The trousers belong to the man who happens to be taking the photograph. He is standing amid eight mirrored sculptures, collectively called Interactions of the Abstract Body and individually titled after a shape: circle. square,triangle or elipse. And then words fail me - or rather thousands would be needed to begin to describe how this artist makes a reflective surface a metaphor for the act of reflecting on an idea, be it Modernism or fashion, the human body or the notion of Utopia...and much more.
The artist himself says 'Reflective work gets you involved in it because you see yourself in it, and then the kind of horror, repellant nature of that at the same time. I think that’s a lot of the subject of my work, this idea of a utopia that falls apart. We all want this utopia; we want this fantasy of a perfect world. And yet any perfect world is the worst place there is to be'.
After midday there is a chance to see performance art by a member of the Laban Conservatoire of Music and Drama, who wears one of these structures, turning the body into a kinetic sculture On Saturdays all eight sculptures will be set in motion according to a pattern choreographed by the artist. Gallery goers and performers alike peer into and become reflected, so that both real and implied bodies multiply 'creating a complex, intangible sense of space'.
|Glass sculptures in vitrines, ground floor|
I can't resist a final quote: '...the all-reflective work or the all-white work—they suggest at first a very seductive thing, but if you think about it for half a second, they become very awful too. Anything that is very seductive is also awful. I mean, if you go to a Renaissance palace in Europe, it could be the most sumptuous thing, but if you think about who paid for this—who made it, who had access to it—then you realize it represents pure evil, at some level'.