I went to see the free shows at the South London Gallery.
First I went in the main building to look at the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2020. Some of these are video displays which don’t come out well in pictures (but see below).
Friday Evening by Nimmi Hutnik:
Fat Fingers And A Crustacean by Sophie Ruigrok:
The 4 parts of The Distance A Seed Travels From Its Mother Plant by Orfeo O’Leary Tagliuri:
The Familiar Whisper Of A Path Now Silent by Jake Grewel
Works by Anika Roach, Kirsty Sim and Jung Min Park:
Harley by Lucas Dillon and Untitled by Paul Barlow:
Exeunt 2 and Exeunt 4 by Nicole Coson:
Untitled by Giorgio van Meerwijk:
Watching The Past Pass by Liam Mertens:
I went over to the Fire Station building. In the Archive Room:
In the Bridget Riley Gallery, the New Contemporaries continued with Lapdog Tabernum by Clara Hastrup. This is a mechanical installation, and the blenders periodically activate and noisily do their work whilst the lighting alters:
The far wall is a mesh of drinking straws, and the illuminated spot is targeted at a tortilla ship stuck in the wall. There is also a video installation Queer Use by Cat & Eimear McClay playing in the room.
Upstairs in the Matsudaira Gallery, I liked Anne Carney Raines’s Far Out and Entry Number One:
However the best of the video installations is Rene Matic’s Brown Girl In The Art World III, an 11-minute slowed-down video taken on an iPhone, of her dancing outside a defunct pub in Cornwall that she noticed whilst driving past, and decided instantly to make a performance in front of it.
She discusses what she has achieved and is achieving in the art world, as a performing puppet for the white gaze. There are at least 3 white gazes: the exhibition curators/ gallery administrators who select works for the display; the gallery-goers who see it; and also the wider society that is only partially aware of it, aside for the larger industry of popular entertainment. Halfway through the filming a solitary passerby wanders around from the other side of the car park to see what is going on, which Rene takes as a cue for further consideration of her role “babysitting” and explaining and justifying her work, and solving the puzzle of whether in the end this is just another example of black life turned into a puppet-figure playing to a script set by audience expectations.
Up in Gallery 3, Pablo Palliole’s The Ecstasy Of Communications forges the vital link between Trump footage and clips from Fawlty Towers:
Lights On by Lily Kemp:
Murmur by Chen Sizuo:
In Gallery 4, we have the Art Assassins:
The downstairs component is the record player and the dubplate archive created for it:
I think “White Spiral” is a good title for the the 2 pictures I took of the staircase in the Fire Station.