Exhibitions Andrew Bracey has visited

Every exhibition i go to

Exhibitions visited in 2014

12th September, Upstairs, A+D Building, Lincoln

12th September, Carry On Regardless, Project Space Plus, Lincoln

22nd August, Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule, Rock Paper Scissors, Lincoln 

22nd August, Oliver Laric, The Collection, Lincoln 

18th August, Mandy Bray, The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford

18th August, Amberlea McNaught, The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford

18th August, Designer Data, The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford

18th August, Meekyoung Shin, The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford

17th August, Baselitz and his generation, Bristish Museum, London

16th August, Chew Chew, Transition, London

16th August, Henry Wessel, Tate Modern, London

16th August, Louise Bourgeois: Works on Paper, Tate Modern, London

16th August, Matisse: Cut Outs, Tate Modern, London

9th August, Mimei Thompson, Trade, Nottingham

9th August, A to Infinity, TG, Nottingham

9th August, Strange Business, Syson, Nottingham

9th August, Nine, Surface Gallery, Nottignham

9th August, Andrew Gillespie, Nottingham Contemporary

9th August, Carol Rama, Nottingham Contemporary

9th August, Danh Võ, Nottingham Contemporary

6th August, Pop Art Myths, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

6th August, Inventos. Ideas que cambian vidas, Caxia Forum, Madrid

6th August, Mediterraneo, CAxi Forum, Madrid

6th August, La Corbuissier, Caxia Forum, Madrid

5th August, Alberto Schomme, Museo del Prado, Madrid

5th August, El Greco and Modern Painting, Museo del Prado, Madrid

5th August, Saint Andrew (after Ribera) by Fortuny, Museo del Prado, Madrid

5th August, Evil vanishes. Egusquiza and Wagner´s Parsifal, Museo del Prado, Madrid

4th August, Kerry James Marshall, Palacio de Velázquez, Madrid 

4th August, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid

4th August, Las Meninas,The Prado Museum, Madrid

4th August, Hanne Darboven, Reina Sofia, Madrid

4th August, Richard Hamilton, Reina Sofia, Madrid

4th August, From Revolt to Postmodernity, Reina Sofia, Madrid

4th August, The Irruption of the 20th Century: Utopias and Conflicts, Reina Sofia, Madrid

4th August, Playgrounds, Reina Sofia, Madrid

2nd August, Marko Mäetamm, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham 

2nd August, As Exciting As We Can Make It, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

2nd August, Cornelia Parker, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

2nd August, Static: Still life Reconsidered, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

2nd August, True to life?, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

2nd August, Zarah Hussein, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

2nd August, Mexico: Pleasure, Devotion, Balance,Eastside Projects, Birmingham

2nd August, Grace Schwindt, Eastside Projects, Birmingham

16th july, Michael Bowdidge, Mik’s Front Room, Nottingham

16th July, The Wild Project, Primary, Nottingham

16th July, Rachael Bradley, TG, Nottingham

11th July, Finding the Value, York St. Mary’s

11th July, The Manchester Connexion, the New Schoolhouse gallery, York

2nd July, Someone had blunder’d, The Collection, Lincoln

25th june, Accidents Need Not Happen, Project Space Plus, Lincoln

16th June, Contemporary Lens Media, AAD Building, Lincoln

16th June, Product Design degree show, AAD Building, Lincoln

12th June, Opem, The Collection, lincoln

11th June, Creative Advertising, AAD Building, Lincoln

11th June, Illustration BA shows, AAD Building, Lincoln

11th June, Show Fourteen, AAD Building, Lincoln

11th June, The Future of History, AAD Building, Lincoln

8th June,Suwit Maprajaub & Peerawayt Krasaesom, Whitespace Gallery, Bangkok

8th June, Utai Nopsiri,100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok 

8th June, Tao Zhou, BACC, Bangkok

7th June, Dale Konstanz, Kathmandu Photo gallery, Bangkok

5th June, (detail), H Project Space, Bangkok

3rd June, Group Show, Bangkok Sculpture Centre @BACC, Bangkok

3rd June, Norman Foster, BACC, Bangkok

3rd June, Gadget Boys, BACC Peoples Gallery, Bagkok

3rd June, Transmission, Jim Thompson Art Centre, Bangkok

3rd June, Group Show, Tang Gallery, Bangkok

3rd June, Chaiporn Panichrutiwong, Number 1 Gallery, Bangkok

3rd june, Myint Swe, Thavibu Gallery, Bangkok

2nd June, Shen Wei, H-Gallery, Bangkok

30th May, AAD 1E18, LSAD, Lincoln

30th May, Nine, Project Space Plus, lincoln

30th May, Translated Thoughts, LSAD, Lincoln

19th May, Sensing Lincolnshire, The Collection, Lincoln

16th May, Owl Project, Curio, Lincoln

13th May, Raqs Media Collective, Project Space Plus, Lincoln

30th April 2014, Fiona Rae/Dan Perfect, Nottingham Castle

30th April 2014, Mik Godley, Nottingham Castle

29th April, AA2A ProjectSpacePlus, Lincoln

24th April 2014, Peace & Love, TG, Nottingham

24th April 2014, Joanne Lee and Debra Swann, Lace Market Gallery, Nottingham

24th April 2014, Carlos Noronha Feio, Nottingham Contemporary

24th April 2014, Somewhat Abstract, Nottingham Contemporary

24th April 2014, Liam Aitken, Syson, Nottingham

23rd April 2014, Aesthetica Art Prize, York St Marys, York

12th April 2014, Seen Created 2, Terry O’toole Theatre, North Hyekham

11th April 2014, In the Midst of the Breakers, The Usher Gallery, lincoln

9th April 2014, The Big Exhibition, ProjectSpacePlus, lincoln

20th March 2014, Gast, General Practice, lincoln

20th March 2014, Jeremy Deller curates All that is Solid Melts into Air, Nottingham Castle

16th March 2014, Creating a Scene, NCCD, Sleaford

16th March 2014, Black Sheep: A Draker Side of Felt, Creating a Scene, NCCD, Sleaford

16th March 2014, Kate McBride Curates: The Window Collection, , NCCD, Sleaford

14th March 2014, The Temporary, ARTicle gallery, Birmingham

14th March 2014, Possession (II), Lanchester Gallery, Coventry

13th March 2014, Dale vN Marshall, Herbert Museum and Gallery, Coventry

7th March 2014, Seen This?, Hopkinson Gallery,Nottingham

7th March 2014, Fresh Meat, Bohunk Institute, Nottingham

7th March 2014, Your All Tork, Surface Gallery, Nottingham

7th March 2014, The Eight Artistic Principles, Attic, Nottingham

7th March 2014, Bank, Trade, Nottingham

7th March 2014, Tala Madani, Nottingham Contemporary

7th March 2014, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Nottingham Contemporary

6th March 2014, Floriajn Roithmayr, Site Gallery, Sheffield

6th March 2014, Interactive at Sheffield, Millennium Galleries, Sheffield

6th march 2014,Printing Sheffield, Millennium Galleries, Sheffield

5th March, A Machine Aesthetic, ProjectSpacePlus, Lincoln

28th Feb 2014, Imagination of Matter, New School Gallery, York

22nd Feb 2014, Verso, Sam Scorer Gallery, lincoln

22nd Feb 2014, Modern Masters, The Collection, lincoln

18th Feb 2014, David Tremlett, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

14th Feb 2014, Joseph Banks: A Great Endeavour, The Collection, Lincoln

7th Feb 2014, Samantha Donnelly, Ceri Hand Gallery, London

7th Feb 2014, Open Forest, Jerwood Visual Arts

7th Feb 2014, Paul Klee, Tate Modern, London

7th Feb 2014, Henry Callahan, Tate Modern, London

7th Feb 2014, Inverted House, Tate ModernLondon

7th Feb 2014, Transformed Visions, Tate ModernLondon

7th Feb 2014, Energy and Process, Tate ModernLondon

7th Feb 2014, Sensing Spaces, Royal Academy, London

7th Feb 2014, John Carter, Royal Academy, London

7th Feb 2014, Hans Arp,Hauser and Wirth London

7th Feb 2014, Zheng Enli, Hauser and Wirth London

7th Feb 2014, Alex Van Gelder, Hauser and Wirth London

7th Feb 2014, Paul Gauguin, Ordovas, London

7th Feb 2014, Manuel Espinosa, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

7th Feb 2014, Bill Woodrow, Royal Academy, London

7th Feb 2014, James Turrell, Pace, London

7th Feb 2014, Almost Bliss:Notes on Derek Jarman’s Blue, Chelsea Space, London

7th Feb 2014, Painting Now, Tate BritainLondon

7th Feb 2014, Alison Wilding, Tate Britain, London

7th Feb 2014, Richard Deacon, Tate BritainLondon

6th Feb 2014, Martin Creed, Hayward Gallery, London

6th Feb 2014, Sun Xun, Hayward Gallery, London

6th Feb 2014, A Machine Aesthetic, Text+Work, Bournemouth

3rd Feb 2014, Irene Brown, Gallery of Wonder, Newcastle

3rd Feb 2014, Marilyn Monroe, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

3rd Feb 2014, Markus Karstieβ, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

3rd Feb 2014, Pre-Pop to Post-Human, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

3rd Feb 2014, Eduardo Paolozzi, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

3rd Feb 2014, James Quinn, Ex  Libris Gallery, Newcastle

3rd Feb 2014, Colour Boundary, Gallery North, Newcastle

3rd Feb 2014, Thomas Bayrle, Baltic, Newcastle

3rd Feb 2014, Salla Tykka, Baltic, Newcastle

3rd Feb 2014, Sara Barker & Ryder Architecture, Baltic, Newcastle

20th Jan 2014, Barrie Tullett, ProjectSpacePlus, Lincoln 

My Top Ten (12) Exhibitions of the year

I visited 297 exhibitions this year and here are my top 10 of the year, which i found impossible to do so there is actually a very subjective and flawed top 12.

1 - Hilma af Klint, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin


Nothing in the exceptional work downstairs prepared me for the awe I would experience when entering a room upstairs in the Hamburger Bahnhof. A suite of af Klint’s oversized watercolours completely overwhelmed me; literally causing hairs on the back of my neck, arms, toes, eyebrows to stand on end. An experience that I think will always live with me; work so completely perfect is so rare to come encounter, a whole series of works all so equally perfect is almost unique.

2 - The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, Bluecoat, Liverpool and Nottingham Contemporary


Is Leckey an even better curator than artist, or is it actually all part of the same thing. This is how to do a group show, a lesson in artistic/curatorial craftsmanship.

3 - The World Turned Upside Down, Mead Gallery, University of Warwick


Stunningly put together, again an artist (Simon Faithful) crafting an exhibition that everyone should have gone rushing to see and then amusingly fallen over in joy, a la Buster Keaton. READ MY REVIEW HERE

4 - Encyclopedic Palace, Venice Biennale


The best Biennale main exhibition that I have seen. Gioni sure knows how to select bloody good artists, playful when it needed to be playful, sincere when it needed to be sincere, surprising when it needed to be surprising; thoughtful and splendid throughout.

5 - Rosemarie Trockel, Serpentine, London


Was this a solo show with works by other artists peppering Trockel’s own or another staggeringly good group show selected by an artist with a large proportion of her own works. Who cares, when an exhibition is this good? A lesson in how to learn so much about an artist, by positioning, selecting and inviting thought by looking.

6 - Rudolf Stingel, Palazzo Grassi, Venice


I got completely seduced by spectacle in Venice this year, there was a lot of it, and no more visible than Stingel’s show at Palozzo Grassi. Usually a show like this leaves too much of a bitter taste in my mouth, but this was just too much of a knockout firework display of a show to do any such thing.

7 - Mike Nelson - To The Memory of Honore de Balzac, Matt Gallery, London


A beautifully installed labyrinth of a show, with no need for Nelson’s usual maze of walls; a spillage of sculptures that required hours of wandering feet and eyes to truly relish and savour. Like all his work it was all in the detail, the beauty of seeing it in one room is that all this detail is impossible to take in at once.

8 - Anna Von Hausswolff, Chris Watson & Hildur Guonadottir, Lincoln Cathedral


To be able to transcend the majesty the architecture of Lincoln cathedral and be transported through to the deep sea and crackling ice by sound alone was truly breath-taking.

9 - Cloud Illusions I Recall, IMMA, Dublin


Proof again that artists put on the best shows (for me anyhow). I travelled to Dublin especially to see the show and was initially a little underwhelmed, but few shows have remained in my mind as prominently since. A good red wine of a show, mature, mellow and getting better all the time. READ MY REVIEW HERE

10 - Emma Hart, Camden Arts Centre, London


A show to smile at, be disturbed by, to feel guilty about unashamedly liking so damn much.

11 - Martino Gamper, Benaki Museum, Athens


Reminded me of Richard Wentworth at his best; that wonderful ability they both share in spotting the best potential in something, far from Making Do and Getting By.

12 - Manet, Royal Academy, London


An artist king. Much was absent in this show or obscured by someone listening to their audio guide, what was there was sickeningly good and i was first in so got a bit of time to spend some quality time before the masses arrived. Oh for an empty gallery full of Manet.

Exhibitions visited in 2013

19th  December, Nina Beier, Nottingham Contemporary 

19th  December, The Family Bible and Other Fables, Syson, Nottingham 

19th December, Paul Waplington, Nottingham Castle 

19th December, Avi Gupta, Nottingham Castle

12th December, santa head/ jesus legs, Greyfriars, Lincoln

12th December, A Song for An Art School - Caseroom Press, ProjectSpacePlus, Lincoln 

12th December, A Song for An Art School - Caseroom Press, ProjectSpacePlus, Lincoln 

29th November, David Kirshner, The Collection, Lincoln 

15th November, Leonardo Da Vinci, Accademia, Venice

15th November, Overplay, Palazzo Albrizzi, Venice

14th November, Bedwyr Williams Wales Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Whitney McVeigh, Gervasuti Foundation, Venice

14th November, Gavin Turk, Gervasuti Foundation, Venice

14th November, Portable Nation, Maldives Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Lee Kit, Hong Kong Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Carlos Marreiros, Marcau Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Reflective Nature, Kenya Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Bill Culbert, New Zealand Pavilion, Venice

14th November, This is Not a Taiwan Pavilion, Taiwan Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Glasstress-White Light/White Heat, Palazzo Franchetti, Venice

14th November, Ornamentation, Azerbaijan Pavilion, Venice

14th November, The Monument of a Monument, Ukraine Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Palazzo Falier, Venice

14th November, Catherine Lorent, Luxomberg Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Jasmina Cibic, Slovenia Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Irena Lagator Pejovic, Montenegro Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Mladen Miljanovic, Bosnia & HerzegovinaPavilion, Venice

14th November, Denes Farkas, Estonia Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Rudolf Stingel, Palazzo Grassi, Venice

14th November, Richard Mosse, Ireland Pavilion, Venice

14th November, Antoni Tapies, Musee Fortuny, Venice

13th November, Valentin Carron, Swiss Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Urban Art, Venezuelea Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Jesper Just, Denmark Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Vadium Zakhorov, Russia Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Koki Tanaka Japan Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Anri Sala, France Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Shary Boyle, Canada Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Jeremy Deller, Great Britain Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Ai Weiwei, Romuald Karmakar, Santu Mofokeng & Dayanita Singh, Germany Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Konrad Smolenski, Poland Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Simryn Gill, Australia Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Wilfredo Diaz Valdez, Uruguay Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Petra Feriancova & Zbynek Baladran, Czech and Slokac Republic Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Terike Haapoja, NordicPavilion, Venice

13th November, Mathius Poledna, Austria Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Vladimir Peric & Miloš Tomic, Serbia Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Mohamed Banawy & Khaled Zaki, Egypt Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Silk Map, Venice Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Alexandra Pirici & Manuel Pelmus, Romania,Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Greece Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Inside/Outside, Brazil Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Gilad Ratman, Israel Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Sarah Sze, USA Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Zsolt Asztalos, Hungary Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Antti Laitnen, Finland Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Encyclopedic Palace, Giardini, Venice

13th November, Mark Manders, Netherlands Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Belguim Pavilion, Venice

13th November, Lara Almarcegui, Spain,Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Tavares Strachan, Bahamas Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Kamikaze Loggia, Georgia Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Transfiguration, China Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Vice Versa, Italian Pavilion, Venice

12th November, The Atlas of the Empire, Latin American Pavilion, Venice

12th November, North by Northeast, Latvia Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Sakti, Indonesia Pavilion, Venice

12th November, In a World of Your Own, Bahrain Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Ali Kazma, Turkey Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Petrit Halilaj, Kosovo Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Alfredo Jaar, Chile Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Akram Zaatari, Lebanon Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Imaginary Fact, South African Pavilion, Venice

12th November, In Principio, Holy See Pavilion, Venice

12th November, Nicola Costantino, Argentina Pavilion,Venice

12th November, Encyclopedic Palace, Arsenale, Venice

9th November, ASCO, Nottingham Contemporary

9th November, Geoffrey Farmer, Nottingham Contemporary

9th November, Candice Jacobs, Syson, Nottingham

9th November, Recreation Ground, Attic, Nottingham

9th November, The World Turned Upside Down, Mead Gallery, University of Warwick

8th November, Misdirect Movies, Meter Room, Coventry

5th November, Cao Fei, CFCCA, Manchester

5th November, Jon Astbury, CFCCA, Manchester

5th November, Jeremy Deller, Manchester Art Gallery

5th November, Radical Figires: Post War British Figurative Painting, Manchester Art Gallery

5th November, Grayson Perry, Manchester Art Gallery

5th November, Thomas Horsfall’s Gift to Manchester, Manchester Art Gallery

5th November, Alison Erika Forde, Manchester Art Gallery

29th October, Chris Watson, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield 

29th October, Industrious, Trafalgar House, Sheffield 

29th October, Be Our Guest, Trafalgar House, Sheffield 

29th October, Nicholas Party, Trafalgar House, Sheffield 

29th October, Zero Hours, S1 Artspace, Sheffield 

29th October, Zero Hours, SIAD, Sheffield 

29th October, Zero Hours, Bloc Gallery, Sheffield 

29th October, Zero Hours, Site Gallery, Sheffield 

26th October, Frank Abbott, Nottingham Castle

26th October, Simon Raven, Nottingham Castle

26th October, Nottingham Castle Open 2013

20th October, Timothy Chesney and Bret Battey (Trope), Drill Hall, Lincoln

20th October, Alexis Rego, Chad Varah House, Lincoln

20th October, Dave Griffiths - Babel Fiche, Bath House at Lincoln Castle 

20th October, Emma Dex Dexter, St Mary Magdalene Church, Lincoln

20th October, Rachel Olin, The Collection, Lincoln

19th October, Anna Von Hausswolff, Chris Watson & Hildur Guonadottir, Lincoln Cathedral

19th October, Matt Wetherly, AAD Gallery, Lincoln

19th October, Mike Downing, Thomas Parker House,  Lincoln

19th October, Stanza, Thomas Parker House, Lincoln

19th October, Jasim Ghafur, Drill Hall Cellar, Lincoln

19th October, Trope, Posterngate, Lincoln

19th October, Chris Riley - Apollo Raw and Uncut, LPAC, Lincoln

18th October - Tony Conrad, Chad Varah House, Lincoln

18th October - 1/4” Much, Chad Varah House, Lincoln

18th October - Juneau Projects, Pop up space, Lincoln

18th October -  Chris Levine, `St Swithians, Lincoln

18th October - Curio, St Mary le Wigford, Lincoln

16th October - Duncan Rowland, LABPLUS, Lincoln

4th October - Misdirect Movies, Greyfriars, Lincoln

27th September - Paul Johnson, The Collection, Lincoln 

27th September - Colour Love, The Collection, Lincoln 

26th September - Double Indemnity, Cornerhouse, Manchester

21st September - Menu, Art and Design Building, Lincoln 

20th September – Ori Gersht, Rosario Lopez and Mariana Mauricio, Mummery + Schnelle, London

20th September – Billy Childish, Carl Freedman, London

20th September -  Anna Boghiguian and Goshka Macuga, INIVA, London

20th September – Florian Meisenberg, Kate MacGarry, London

20th September – The Floating City, Rich Mix, London

20th September - Tom Price, Hales Gallery, London

20th September -  Raphael Hefti, Ancient and Modern, London

20th September – Data, Contemporary Art Society, London

20th September – John Staezker, Contemporary Art Society, London

20th September – Michael Landy, National Gallery, London

20th September – Here We Go: Index, Carsten Schubert, London

20th September – Tacita Dean, Frith Street Gallery, London

20th September – Re-view: Onnasch Collection, Hauser & Wirth, London

20th September – Ben Nicholson, Bernard Jacobson, London

20th September – linear Abstraction, Alan Cristea Gallery, London

20th September – Richard Serra, Alan Cristea Gallery, London

20th September – Rosemarie Trockel, Spruth Magers Gallery, London

20th September – Jockum Nordstrom, Camden Arts Centre, London

20th September -  Emma Hart, Camden Arts Centre, London

14th September, Steampunk Art Exhibition, The Collection, Lincoln

14th September, 150 Years, The Usher Gallery, Lincoln

14th September, Whats Going On, The Usher Gallery, Lincoln

14th September, Where are we now?, The Collection, Lincoln

13th September, Strata, Thomas Parker House, Lincoln

26th August, 12 X 12, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

26th August, Hanning Bohl, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

26th August, The New Berlin, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

26th August, Tobias Zieloney, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

26th August, Katja Stunz, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

25th August, Old Master Paintings, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin

25th August, Suse Weber and Veit Stratmann, After the Butcher, Berlin

25th August, Body Pressure, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

25th August, Martin Kippenberger, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

25th August, Hilma af Klint, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

24th August, Polite Parasites, Ozean, Berlin

24th August, At the Outset, Circus, Berlin

24th August, Rolf lindemann, Galerie Gesellschaft, Berlin

24th August, On Paper, Eigen + Art lab, Berlin

24th August, Feminine/Masculine, Michael Fuchs Galerie, Berlin

24th August, Ute Behrend, Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung, Berlin

24th August, lutz Friedel, Galerie Berlin, Berlin

24th August, Vision und Konstruktion, Galerie Dittmar, Berlin

24th August, 7+1, Jordan Seydoux, Berlin

24th August, Horst Antes, Deschler Galerie, Berlin

24th August, Kader Attia, KW Institute, Berlin

24th August, Wonderful: Humboldt, Krokodil & Polke, me Collectors Room, Berlin

24th August, Olivia Steele, Circle Culture, Berlin

24th August, Mariana Vassileva, DNA, Berlin

24th August, Ulrich Pester, Ralph Schuster, Anna Virnich, Spruth Magers, Berlin

24th August, Kraftwerk, Spruth Magers, Berlin

24th August, Joseph Kosuth, Spruth Magers, Berlin

24th August, Abstrakt, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

24th August, Conceptual Tendencies 1960s to Today II, Daimler Art Collection, Berlin

24th August, Horst Antes, Martin Gropius Gallery, Berlin

24th August, Meret Oppenheim, Martin Gropius Gallery, Berlin

24th August, Anish Kapoor, Martin Gropius Gallery, Berlin

23rd August, Franka Hornschemeyer,  Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin

23rd August, Fabian Marcaccio, Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin

23rd August, Marcel Odenbach, Galeries Crone, Berlin

23rd August, Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered together in a ave and Grooving With Pict, Veneklasen/Werner, Berlin

23rd August, Portikus Under Construction, Tanya leighton Gallery, Berlin

23rd August, Agus Suwage, Arndt, Berlin

23rd August, Kjell Erik Killi Olsen, loock Gallery, Berlin

23rd August, Anders Kjellesvik, Monique Van Gendereen, J Ariadhitya Pramuhendra, Galerie Michael Jansen, Berlin

23rd August, John Stezaker, Capitain Petzel, Berlin

23rd August, Thomas Kilpper, Nagel Draxler, Berlin

21st August, Aquatopia, Nottingham Contemporary

21st August, Upritchard Famiiy Coection, Nottingham Contemporary 

21st August, Reliquary, Syson, Nottingham

21st August, Make Believe, Nottingham Castle

7th August, Liam Gillick, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin

7th August, What Lies Beneath, Green On Red Gallery, Dublin

7th August, I KnOw yoU, IMMA @ NCH, Dublin

7th August, Willie Doherty, IMMA @ NCH, Dublin

6th August, Sean Lynch, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

6th August, Lee Welch, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

6th August, Francis Bacon Studio, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

6th August, Mario Garcia Torres, Project Arts Centre, Dublin

6th August, Starting Over, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin

6th August, Shades of Grey: Painting Without Colour, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

6th August, Frank Walter, Douglas Hyde Gallery

6th August, Eoin McHugh, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin

6th August, Cloud Illusions I Recall, IMMA, Dublin

3rd August, Ellen Gallagher, Tate Modern, London

3rd August, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Tate Modern, London

12th July, Antony Hall, Untitled Gallery, Manchester

12th July, Yelena Popova, Bureau, Manchester

12th July, Rachel Goodyear, International 3, Manchester

12th July, Lee Mingwei, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

12th July, Do it, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

6th July, Hybrid Stories, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens

5th July, The Ends of Art, Beton7, Athens

5th July, Martino Gamper, Benaki Museum, Athens

4th July, Misdirect Movies, Standpoint Gallery, London

28th June, Constellations, Tate Liverpool

28th June, Moyra Davey, Tate Liverpool

28th June, Marc Chagall, Tate Liverpool

20th June, Spaceship Unbound, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

20th June, Collaborate, PS Mirabel, Manchester

20th June, Performing Paper, Paper Gallery, Manchester

12th June, The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, Nottingham Contemporary

12th June, Trade Secrets: ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Nottingham Contemporary

11th June, Josh Richardson, Sam Scorer Gallery, Lincoln

5th June, Smart Moves, Sam Scorer Gallery, Lincoln

5th June, Ali Roscoe, The Collection, Lincoln

4th June, Beauty is the First Test, National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford

3rd June, Equilibrium, Thomas Parker House, Lincoln

31st May, Deep Philosophical Thoughts Stole My Bike, Greestone, Lincoln

25th May, Thesis, Queen’s Gallery, Bangkok

24th May, Metamorphosis and Flux, H Project Space, Bangkok

24th May, Montien Boonma, Jim Thompson Art Gallery, Bangkok

24th May, Pharmacide Art and Counterfit Goods, BACC, Bangkok

24th May, Possession (1), BACC, Bangkok

24th May, Gallery Artists, H Gallery, Bangkok

23rd May, Out of Sight, Tang Gallery, Bangkok

23rd May, Graduated Emergence, Number 1 Gallery, Bangkok

23rd May, Kathawut Pollasu, Number 1 Gallery, Bangkok

23rd May, A Tale of Two Tribes, Thavibu Gallery, Bangkok

23rd May, Dayu, Artery Post- Modern Gallery, Bangkok

23rd May, Melanie Grise, Maya’s Secret Gallery, Bangkok

19th May, Nancy Holt, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

19th May, Callum Innes, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

10th May, The Utopian Buck Stops Here, Bureau, Manchester

10th May, Alec Shepley, Sam Scorer Gallery, Lincoln

9th May, Millennium People, Stokes Warehouse, Lincoln

9th May, Empire of the Sun, Tower Bar, Lincoln

9th May, Wind From Nowhere, The Arcade, Lincoln

9th May, Rushing To Paradise, Pyewipe inn, Lincoln

8th May, Unlimited Dream Company, Greyfriars and St. benedicts, Lincoln

7th May, Crystal World, Jospeh banks Conservatory, Lincoln

3rd May, Rafal Topolewski, International3, Manchester

20th April, Tim Dunbar, Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

16th April, Nineteen Fourteen, Surface Gallery, Nottingham

16th April, Christina Mackie, Nottingham Castle

16th April, Emma Talbot, Mrs Ricks Cupboard, Nottingham

12th April, Anguish and Enthusiasm, Cornerhouse, Manchester

9th April, Platform:In the Making, Site Gallery, Sheffield

3rd April, Ruins in Reverse, Tate Modern, London

3rd April, Roy Lichtenstein, Tate Modern, London

3rd April, Simon Starling, Tate Britain, London

3rd April, Kurt Schwitters, Tate Britain, London

3rd April, Fischli & Weiss, Serpentine, London

3rd April, Rosemarie Trockel, Serpentine, London

3rd April, Sterling Ruby, Hauser and Wirth, London

3rd April, Phillippe Vanderberg, Hauser and Wirth, London

3rd April, Manet, Royal Academy, London

22nd March, The Art of Pop Video, FACT, Liverpool

22nd March, CS Leigh, Exhibition Research Centre, Liverpool

15th March, Misdirect Movies, Royal Standard, Liverpool

8th March, Yoshua Okon, Cornerhouse, Manchester

8th March, Slyvia Sleigh, Tate Liverpool

8th March, Glam!, Tate Liverpool

8th March, Mishka Henner, Open Eye, Liverpool

8th March, Edith Tudor-Hart, Open Eye, Liverpool

7th March, Clare Kenny, Bureau, Manchester

1st March, Unspecific Objects, Royal Standard, Liverpool

1st March, The Universal Addressability of Dub Things, Bluecoat, Liverpool

28th February, Emily Speed and Hayley Newman, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

28th February, Evi Grigoroulou, Untitled Gallery, Manchester

28th February, Raqib Shaw, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

28th February  Rosa Barba, Cornerhouse, Manchester

24th February, Michael Landy, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

24th February, John Piper, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

24th February, Richard Long, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

21st February, Karl Fritsch, Manchester Art Gallery

15th February, Co-Respondent, Transition Gallery, London

15th February, Susan Hiller - Channels, Matts Gallery, London

15th February, Mike Nelson - To The Memory of Honore de Balzac, Matt Gallery, London

15th February, Eva Hesse - 1965, Hauser and Wirth, London

15th February, Bruce Nauman - Mindfuck, Hauser and Wirth, London

15th February, Yelena Popova, Cole, London

15th February, Grit to Gold: Collaging the Abstract, Standpoint Gallery, London

15th February, Kate MccGwire, All Visual Arts, London

12th February, The World is Almost 6000 Years Old, The Collection, Lincoln

1st February, Versus, Rogue Project Space, Manchester

1st February 2013 - Manchester

Versus - Rogue Project Space I must admit a self interest in this exhibition, not only do I spend my time almost equally between the two cities involved (working 3 days in Lincoln as a lecturer and the rest of the time being an artist in Manchester). Perhaps because of my straddling role I was invited to set a brief for the 2 warring tribes of artists from each city to respond to. The format follows, but expands upon the first Versus show at The Collection last year where the 3 artists from Lincoln competed with each other with a brief set by the esteemed Steve Dutton, via the equally esteemed John Roberts. In true X-factor generation fashion a winner was decided by audience vote. In the latest incarnation of the format the audience at Rogue voted for the city rather than the individual artists

To stoke the fires I set a brief based on the dialogue form the infamous meat packing scene form Rocky and the artists generally responded verve and competitiveness. Eye of the tiger baby. On the Lincoln side Nick Simpson invited audience participation in the form of a skipping contest, the slap of the rope on board amplified through the space, along with the taunts and encouragement of the crowd. I scored a mightily underwhelming low of the night in 15 skips in 30 seconds, whilst the artist conquered with an incredible (the possibility of cheating being involved was discussed) 74 skips in the same time. On the Manchester side Annie Carpenter invited partners from the crowd to compete in a dance off with her to Eye of the Tiger on the Wii. I lost emphatically again, shades of the ‘it is the competing that matters’ attitude from school returned to me. I am not a competitive person.

However the atmosphere of congenial competitiveness underlay the whole evening. Lincoln sent people into space, via Rob Britt’s Heath Robinson space capsule, Manchester responded with Magnus Quaife’s WWF disguised as porn video clips. Lincoln taunted with Ian Manicom’s all seeing Rocky eye (a camera inserted into the eyes of a Stallone mask), whilst Manchester almost stole the thunder with Nicola Smith’s spellbinding giant balloon performance. In the end Lincoln appeared to win, somewhat strangely a win for the away side. There are plans to take the format on to other pastures, which I encourage. A note of caution though, every format has a shelf life before it gets tired. Does one really need Masterchef South Africa for instance? So for now Versus is a breath of fresh air, just keep the air fresh.


Top Ten Favourite shows of 2012

Here are my 10 favourite contemporary art exhibitions of the year. My thoughts of the time can be read if you click on the show’s title. 


Rhys Chatham - Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Ok so not technically an exhibition, but rarely have I been as affected by anything, ever, ever. I could very happily have spent the rest of 2012 listening to this. In fact I have spent many occasions walking around with the sound of 100 guitars running through my head. It made me realise how rarely I get a tingle of excitement in a gallery, this had that in droves. (scroll to bottom)


Painting Show - Eastside Projects I thought this would be the best show I saw all year in January and indeed it was. 

Indiscipline of Painting - Mead Gallery Intelligent show of painting, which has long remained in my head.


Jeremy Deller - Hayward Gallery Gosh he is good isn’t he. The sort of artist you want these times to be remembered for. 

Charlene Von Heyl - Tate Liverpool Just the sort of painter I am jealous of as a painter, such an enjoyable exhibition of painting.


David Claerbout - Parasol Unit Quality work, Quality Gallery, Quality exhibition. (scroll to near bottom)

Mark Leckey - Manchester Art Gallery Just the sort of show I want to see more of at Manchester Art Gallery.


Aligihero Boetti - Tate Modern Just the sort of show I want to see more of at Tate Modern. (scroll to middle)

Ha Ha What Does This Represent - Standpoint Gallery Clearly there were a lot of good painting shows I went to this year, Roll on 2013. (scroll to middle)

10 Jennifer West - S1 Artspace Immersive and infinitely captivating. (scroll to bottom)


11. Compass - Lincolnshire So as my number 1 was not an exhibition I can slip in this rather fine exhibition into a cop-out top 11.

22nd December 2012 - Manchester

Zombie Modernism – Malgras/Naudet The sort of show artist run space were designed to put on and more the shame that you normally see shows like this in space like Malgra/Naudet as opposed to public galleries. This felt a little like the curatorial equivalent of the cinema auteur director. Good art brought together with a particular vision or position, but one that is also open ended and great than the sum of the parts. Or something like that. Zombies are undead parasitic, flesh eaters, something that is in principle something horrific, but in my mind also something put through the grinder of low budget horror movies, with hyper-red blood. And hyper colour is what it would appear Zombie Modernist artists feed off, if the evidence of this show is anything to go by.

Before I visited the show I had 2 pre-emptive things in mind, one was the iconic Zombie Golf show by Bank, the other was that this must be a show laden in irony and parody. A strength of the show is that it felt sincere, not mocking, quality rang through, even though some of the art use some low budget materials, like the horror movies though, it is what you do with it that matters. Noel Clueit’s huge expansive new work dominates the show initially. On the far wall a red and orange meandering line describes a form. On closer inspection this has been composed on numerous copies of a 12 inch record sleeve, each one painted slightly differently and assembled to give the piece its dynamic form.

Opposite Stuart Edmundson competes with the aptly titled BoooooM. A rather fine, unpainted free standing wall holds a black and white photograph, which is upside down and a canvas painting of a sculpture, painted in a rather odd semi-gestural way. In front  a stack of colour box-like forms stand on some silver bubble wrap and a deconstructed mirror peeps round the top. Edmundson seems a key artist in this show, someone who is exploring modernism paradigms in a manner that could only be explored by someone active today. He appears to be an artist that simultaneously critiques, applauds, challenges and questions modernism and formalism.

Sharon Hall sits a little adrift from the other artists in the show as she is positioned in a direct continuation of modernism in many ways. However the more time I spent in the space the more her work both fitted and more significantly held the other work in the show. Not Titled (Orange Fan) in particular sang and fitted with so many others in the space. This conversation seemed to be to most direct in relation to 2 works diagonally opposite form it. On the left was Rhys Coren’s Biancazzrri, an abstract harlequin screen-saver-like animation, apparently derived from the Lazio goalkeeper’s top in the early nineties. To the other end of the wall hung Cathy Wade’s Summer Wind; another record sleeve, but with a very different attitude to Clueit’s. Wade has painted vibrant pink geometric patterns in response to the lounging woman on it. It sat atop an elegant shelf, half hard-wood, half luxurious painted red.

Many of the other works in the show created similar dialogues with each other, and in turn with modernism. I wonder if the zombie positioning is a misnomer. It makes a catchy title, but the artists in the show seem too sincere about what they are doing to be the walking art-dead, Or perhaps I have got this wrong, maybe it is not the artists that are zombies, feeding off modernism, but modernism itself that is the zombie, something that just wont die, like in so many of those horror flicks. 

21st December 2012 - Coventry

Adie Blundell – Herbert Museum and Gallery I went into this exhibition with no prior knowledge or expectation of the artist, beyond him being in the same studio building as someone I know. The work itself is good and intriguing, I liked it more than I expected. However I felt the display in the space did it a disservice, strangely the work should have fitted well into the institution, but did not as it was treated a little too much like art in places and like interpretative display in others. My biggest grip was with the labelling which had silhouetted pictures on them to help you identify each one and a large bold type telling you not to touch, despite the objects being several feet away beyond the museum issue ropes. These signs were clearly there as the last item in the clockwise sweep of the gallery encouraged you (in small, regular font) to open the drawers of a cabinet. Here you could views books of contextual interest and see some of Bundell’s drawings behind glass. In short the objects you were least likely to want to touch in the whole gallery.

Ok so gripe aside, the work stood up. The artist clearly has the mindset of the amateur chemist, archaeologist or inventor, a Heath Robinson type of figure. He also appears to revel in the alchemical, ordinary objects have been transformed and distressed and battered, extraordinary objects have been saved. The cabinet of curiosities exudes over all the work, in fact against the back wall the artist has assembled some of his own. Opposite sit a row of 9 proud vulture masks the artist has created, each has the feel of something from an early Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie. My favourite piece featured a rather fine wooden ladder with a pair of feet halfway up, severed mysteriously from the absent body. Something apocalyptic appears to have happened to them as a weird calcification has infested each of them.

I have just finished reading Alasdair Gray’s book, Poor Thing. This is a re-imaging of the Victorian novel, in line with Frankenstein or Dr. Jeckel and Mr Hyde, with plenty of post-modern flourishes. In the book a Dr. has apparently brought a suicide corpse back to life with the brain of the unborn foetus in the pregnant woman. I could not help but consider the work of Blundell in a similar light, the pieces are all bastardised, cobbled together forms, but each seems to make sense and give the air of something that fits in the world or perhaps did once upon a time.


Floor Plan for an Institution – Meter Room I had not visited Meter Room before, but have followed their projects via social media and their website, as I believe this is a good model for an ambitious artist run space and is also in Coventry, a place I am somewhat intrigued by. I grew up in a picture-postcard, rural village in Devon and I think Coventry is pretty much the flipside of the coin, an industrial heart ravaged by the effects of the war. The difference is palpable, but I digress. The current exhibition at Meter Room is a re-examination or a critique of an institution. It seeks to transpose the logistics, or rather the spaces or zones, consistent with a 21st Century arts institution onto a rather typical (if such a thing exists) artist run space. In turn each of the zones have been given to an artist run space to respond to, which are being drip-fed into Meter Room over a period of 5 months. The identified zones are The Reception, The Auditorium, The Café and Bookshop, The Archive and The Gallery. I saw 2 ½ of these on my mid term visit.

The Reception had been given to Division of Labour, a new artist run space in Malvern and Worcester (where my Nan lived, but again I digress). A typical reception desk had been transposed to the space, where for the month of October a bored, inattentive receptionist had been employed to play solitaire and ignore visitors. This should be a site familiar to any London gallery, and in fact anyone who visited Cornerhouse at the start of the millennium, when I was on reception duties (though I rarely played solitaire in my defence).

The standout insertion here though was an updating of Spanish artist’s Antoni Muntadas’ 1987 piece, Backroom. A CCTV monitor sat above the reception desk watching, or rather allowing us to watch, the office of the gallery. The piece was originally shown at Luisa Strina gallery, the oldest commercial gallery in Sau Paulo, which I imagine presented a rather different office space than that of Meter Room, which is more of Grandad’s shed of interesting things than clinical office. The updating was perfect in its absurdity, the office at Meter Room is also clearly visible to the viewer through 5 office windows, in fact far more clearly than the camera eye can see. The context of CCTV has shifted substantially in the 25 years since the piece was first realised. In England we reportedly have more CCTV cameras per capita than any other country, yet apparently the ones in Downing Street are unreliable in ascertaining how many police and members of the public are in-shot when a cabinet minister allegedly calls officers plebs! 

The Audiotorium had been given over to Vinyl Art Space, based in Birmingham, who designated the existing gallery space as an auditorium to hear the experience of several emerging and recent graduates who made work in the space. The work they produced was all made in response to what others had made and the results were strewn around the gallery somewhat chaotically.

The half part of what I experienced was the café and bookshop, which has been given to Movement gallery, again based in Worcester. I saw the emergence of their contribution, which at present consists of a tea trolley (apparently one used in an episode of Top Gear, fact fans). This will be adapted ready for a launch in the new-year. I should mention that Movement is based in a railway station and the tea trolley seemed to be straight out of British Rail era, i.e pre muffins and flapjack choice overload of today’s trolleys.

The show is building over the run of the show, remnants from the previous shows can be moved, edited or changed by the next inhabitants. This reminded me a little of LOT, an artist run space in Bristol which ran for one year. Each show had a different take and feel, but was also augmented by improvements, such as new lighting or a ripping up of the rather foul carpet. Meter Room as an institution appears to have an ethos of this, but in the incorporation of works from previous shows into the structure of the building, and I guess into each subsequent show. So a permanent collection is growing with works by Lawrence Weiner and Louise Lawler sitting happily or uncomfortably with each show.

21st December 2012 - Birmingham

Beat Streuli – Ikon Gallery I have never written a response to an exhibition whilst still in the gallery and I know feel rather awkward as I am not sure it is an exhibition I am particularly positive about. The work of Beat Streuli was beautifully installed in what is pretty much my favourite gallery in the UK. However, for me, the work did not stand up to it, I found the content rather vacuous, spectacle of nothingness (or actually not even that as just writing that makes it sound too interesting!) Both gallery spaces in Ikon are covered in images of people going about their everyday activities. Steuli keeps his camera aloof from this ‘action’ and uses the telephoto lens to record what, he says in the exhibition’s guide, “is happening around me almost in an automatic way”.

He goes on to talk of a kinship with the great Cartier-Bresson, specifically “because he was very much about plain observation and narration about given situations and given places and people”. Tellingly though Streuli earlier distances himself from the iconic photographer by saying his photographs are certainly not about Cartier-Bresson’s ‘decisive moments’. For me this is what makes Cartier-Bresson’s work so stimulating, and the lack of it is perhaps what is truly lacking in Streuli’s work. This might be a little unfair on Streuli and more a reflection on what initially separated and distinguished him when he emerged in the 90’s is now what makes him indistinguishable from so many imitators (artists, photographers, CCTV operatives or in fact anyone in this digital age), whether knowingly or unknowingly. 

Gallery one’s walls are filled with billboard sized photographs of people as they inhabit a street, most of which are shunted directly up against each other. Each person’s eye is averted away from the camera’s (and photographer’s) gaze, in what almost feels in some cases to be a repelled action, as opposed to being (what is probably the case) a result of the artist’s selection. Despite the spectacle of the presentation, none of the images grabbed me and I could not help but compare my experience of walking to the gallery. I stopped to eat a frankfurter from the Christmas market and started to people watch as you tend to do in these sort of circumstances. I am not sure if Streuli’s work here adds anything to this process, the transformation of this action (at a distance) into art does nothing for me. I did not have any of the questions and thoughts that I conjured whilst out on the streets.

Upstairs in the second gallery Streuli turns to moving image, with magnificently installed floating walls as projection screens sitting at jaunty angles in the gallery, or precisely placed flat screen and box monitors. The content is the same as downstairs, this time of people from Birmingham. The difference is that the time we have to look at each image is dictated by the artist; in orchestrated slideshows of the images. As I watched I could not help feeling that there is something paradoxical at play here. They images are simply too involved with the aesthetic to hold with the positioning of them being ‘concerned with ordinariness, undramatic moments and the mundane’ as the gallery guide informs us. If this were the case then they are not truly reflecting this as there is something very composed about each of them. However they are also not aesthetic enough to stand up as interesting images for me.

There is not enough in the act of what the artist is doing to separate his images from what is already in the everyday. In this case the everyday is actually probably more interesting than that which the gallery is presenting back to us within the white walls. I will now drain my cappuccino and head back out onto the streets.

14th December 2012 - Manchester


Tattoo City - Castlefield Gallery This group exhibition was curated by artist Samson Kambalu and Clarissa Corfe from Castlefield gallery, though it is equally being presented as a solo show (with additional artists) and an extension of Kambula’s third novel of the same title. I think the analogy with a novel is an apt one, I felt that this was a very dense exhibition (like a complex novel); in the selection of artworks, in the links and connections between them and in the invitation to enter into the head space of Kambula. I think that the only true way to understand the exhibition is to become Kambula or at least to understand his background (born in Malawi with a big dollop of Nietzsche read to him by his father, through to his invented religion, Holballism). This is something possibly achieved by reading his 2 previous novels, or by being knowledgeable about the various contextual threads underpinning the show (African and Protestant heritage, Steiner schools, ritual culture and so on). As I was not willing or able to do this I did not feel I could not come close to properly understanding the show. I guess I did the equivalent of skim reading the exhibition. I can tell it is a complex, personal exhibition and it is ambitious in its scope. It also requires a huge investment from the audience to even scratch the surface. If this show is a novel it is no ‘holiday-by-the-pool’ effort.

So as I had not read Kamblau’s novels, in order to understand his curation of an exhibition, I instead focused on the artworks. There were many (32) to look at, including several from Kambula including his writing desk, with a rather staged scattering of his reference books. Downstairs a more successful piece, ‘Forty Rants’ payed inside a mini cinema constructed by Nicholas Pople. My favorite work by Kambula though was perhaps his most subtle and most present. Spreading through the whole gallery was a trancelike meditative chanting. This was Joseph Beuy’s ‘Ja, Ja, Ja, Ne, Nee, Nee’, or rather it was Kambula re-staging Beuys, the sound emanating from within the plinth which held a stack of felt, which originally held the reel to reel tape of Beuys’ original work. For me this work somehow resolved many of the tensions within the show and explained a lot, of how the contemporary artist inhabits the ‘other’, in this case the iconic artist shaman.  


Two works sat next to each other on plinths, each simple on the first look, and somewhat mind-boggling when one considers the labour required to realise each. In a glass vessel sat 6,128,374 grains of sand. We know this because it is the title of Jochem Hendricks’ contribution to the show. He knows it because he paid assistants (often illegal immigrants in a nod to Santiago Sierra’s practice) to count each grain of sand. Next to it is a simple bowl made of bees-wax, an artwork by Sam Mukumba called ‘Essence of time’. Again a simple form, and again one can only imagine the labour of all the bees to produce the raw material of the object. I have no idea how these two works fitted in with Kambula’s curatorial thinking, I am certain it does, but for me they were both strong works and made by 2 artists I had not encountered before.

Kevin Hunt is an artist whose work I know well and he had several pieces scattered around the gallery space, created a dialogue with other artist’s work. Sigrid Holmwood is another artist whose work I like. Upstairs is a painting of a forest scene, with scattered debris in the foreground all painted in her signature palette. Downstairs there are several collected objects from a research visit to California around the underground movement, The San Francisco Diggers. For me it is the alchemical effect of painting that is revealed in the comparison of Holmwood’s 2 pieces in the show. The objects require the knowledge of their origins in order to lift their interest from the humble and banal, the paintings hold this interest anyway and build on it with extended contemplation.

I suppose these thoughts about Holmwood’s practice are evocative of the whole show, I am certain that the more you invest into the exhibition the more you will get out of it. I know I did not get enough out of it, but this is my fault as opposed to the exhibition. The quality is all there, though for me the exhibition was too dense in its requirement to have so much contextual knowledge around the shows central themes. I fell back on  looking at some good pieces of art, which is ultimately what I took away from the show. Though I might just see how much Kambalu’s book is on amazon! 

29 November 2012 - Preston

Digital Aesthetic 3 – Harris Museum and Gallery The exhibition featured a range of artists whose work deal with the digital in diverse ways. There appeared to be a focus (by the curators) on pushing what could be termed as digital art, away from things purely created within the digital. This pulled the work beyond a focus on the capabilities of the digital, which often feature in festivals and exhibitions of this kind, something I feel reduces the experience to one of art of effects or exhibitions with a feel of a trade show. Thankfully I did not get this impression at The Harris, perhaps because the show did not solely look to the latest ‘thing’, but also back to work, such as Peter Callas’ Our Potential Allies which was first made in 1980 at the early days of what could be thought of as digital technology and thinking. Other works such as Terry Flaxton’s mesmerising long-zoom recreation of a Ansel Adams photograph looked back to the past and universal concerns and used the capabilities of the digital as a tool to achieve something extraordinary. In this case the zoom capabilities of a digital camera, which would not have been possible with analogue technology. This work was shown alongside Alfred William Hunt’s oil painting of a waterfall in Cumbria, creating a further link to the past depiction of the landscape, and a relationship between the similarities and differences between rural Britain and America.

Pat Flynn showed a host of seemingly banal images of empty frames, which became a complex space through their rendering and creation in the digital. This contrasted nicely (in the furthest walking possible point in the building from Flynn’s work) with Keith Brown’s visually complex hologram print, both of which I imagine would have taken a similar amount of time to produce, with completely different aesthetics. Yuan Goang-Ming meanwhile employs the digital to erase rather than build. Two versions of the same crossroads were hung beside one another as large photographs. On first impression they are reasonably banal, one is a shot of the junction in the day and one at night. Then the absence of cars and of people hit me. A bit like the opening of 28 Days Later. However these photographs have achieved a similar effect, not by literally clearing  the streets as in Danny Boyle’s film, but by layering 70 scanned versions of the same medium format image over one another to order to erase activity. The impression of one moment in time is achieved through a layering of many different moments, to create something eerily rare or even impossible in modern, hectic life.

The show also featured heavyweight artists such as Sophie Calle, Lee Yongbaek, Peter Campus and a new commission form Harrison & Wood, whose work was as strong as ever and refreshing to see in this context; or rather in the context it was refreshing to see. Overall the exhibition’s major strength was by foregrounding good art and artists, that sometimes only edged into the digital focus of the title. All too often the art is forgotten in an exhibition of digital (art) and it was good to see this was certainly not the case here.