The 405 Art Digest: 17th June
Last Thursday a very large clash between different art schools' private views occurred. Over at Kings Cross, the renowned Central St. Martins College of Art and Design was opening for its degree show; further east to New Cross, Goldsmiths' show had begun as well; so who on Earth was going to trek all the way to the very outskirts of South West London to see the display and party that Wimbledon had in store? As a matter of fact, quite a lot of those who were expecting something exciting this year from London's art courses.
First things first, just look at what they did with the lecture theatre:
Strictly speaking, this isn't really a lecture theatre. It's a white cube exhibition space, which by day you can move a lectern desk and some chairs into, but you forget that when somebody moves in their own semi-built minimalist domestic space, covered in cucumber wallpaper, a poster that states, "WE MIGHT BE SAT IN SHIT" on one side, and on the other states...
... "MR SIMPSON HAS MADE ALL OF THESE WORKS FROM HIS HEAD", while surrounded by portrait paintings.
The sculpture section was a voyage to navigate. A warehouse space with shelters, kinetic sculptures, monitors and projections, all standing as a group, but each with its own attention-grabbing power.
In certain parts of the college, viewers were being ushered into spaces for performances. We finally saw Lydia Brain's piece, where audiences were led to one of either intimate sides of a screen depending on their genders; females saw the artist herself dancing on a platform, while males saw her Jewish friend dancing on another, while an Israeli anthem played.
Another performative experience was where the audience were led in small groups by a bouncer to listen to Rob Davies' 'Our Final Days Are Here', within a dark, almost sacred phonograph booth.
I should really own up at this point and say that amongst these graduates was me, hence the favouritism towards this college, having only covered the art coming from Wimbledon so far as the degree shows have come round. However, I give you quick glimpses of our achievements because as one of the most genuinely communal peer groups, I desire for these students to have exposure somewhere other than to the typical VIPs whom you might find at our degree shows. Furthermore, I have shown you none of my work from this show, thus I can speak to you only as a writer rather than one of the artists.
I'll shut up about Wimbledon now. Regular art coverage resumes next week.