Issue 26 Articles
Magazine: Issue 26
Review No 2: Mouthfeel
Review: Enclosure, Danielle Arnaud There is the kind of art that can easily be imagined hanging on the wall of your house or flat, then there is art which apparently belongs only in galleries. However, a visit to Danielle Arnaud’s gallery on Kennington Road suggests that this distinction is unnecessary. Danielle Arnaud’s gallery is located in her large and beautifully kept, but otherwise perfectly normal, house. Most of us have pictures at home. Whether they’re paintings, photos, prints or posters and whether they arrived in the house as presents, on postcards or bought from galleries; to own pictures seems to be accepted as being utterly natural. But, for the majority of people, it is a lot harder to imagine owning an installation or a piece of video art. What would you do with it? Where would it go? Would it be playing constantly for my own enjoyment or would I just switch it on when I want to impress some guests? Admittedly this is not a problem that plagues a huge number of people, but its implications are worth thinking about. As often as we may visit galleries, our most frequent encounters with works of art take place in domestic settings. It is so normal to see pictures on the walls of our homes that they largely go unnoticed. To own a piece of installation art is generally considered to be the preserve of the super-rich, or if you’re not a member of that group it requires some serious dedication; not least the sacrifice of a certain amount of your living space. As a consequence, video and installation, even sculpture to some extent, are considered to belong to an altogether different category than painting and photography. In fact, three possible categories spring to mind; • Pictures that you can decorate your living-room with • Works that may need some maintenance, perhaps they need to be dusted once in a while; sculptures etc • Works that need to be in a gallery to be properly appreciated, i.e. installation But, of course, these are totally artificial distinctions. Fundamentally, there is nothing to stop anyone from putting a piece of installation art where a print might otherwise go. And this is what Danielle Arnaud demonstrates. The most recent exhibition in the gallery, Enclosure, includes work from each of the above categories, and plenty that doesn’t fit easily into any. In the gallery’s entrance hall, Gabriela Schutz’s Your 5 a Day plays with repetition amusingly, and manages to make its rather quotidian subject matter quite beautiful. Elsewhere, Stephen Walter’s map Nova Utopia imagines Thomas More’s Utopia of 1516 as it might exist today, having undergone a radical free-market revolution. Enclosure also affords us a look at some of Walter’s less widely exhibited drawings. Meanwhile in an upstairs room, Marion Coutts’ installation with a slide projector shows us what it’s really like to have some installation art in a domestic setting. In fact, this work really benefits from being shown in such a domestic space. It is clear on visiting the gallery that Danielle Arnaud is rigorous and determined in building long-term relationships with each of the artists she exhibits. And this should serve as a good example to anyone interested in having art in their home. Whether print, sculpture or installation; the medium is not as important as the relationship that we have with our art. The lesson here is that the art we have in our homes shouldn’t go unnoticed or unremarked upon. George Major
This month SLAM will be directing your eyes over to the amazing spaces in Bermondsey. The hub has a vast range of interesting and diverse spots, often occupying territories with a history of previous functions where the architecture can be just as enthralling as the art on display. Bordered by the Thames and just a short hop from Peckham and Deptford, Bermondsey has some great potential for new discoveries just waiting to be unearthed. We thought we’d take you round a couple of locations to give you a hint of the fun to be had in two starkly different shows.
Review: Mouthfeel Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall Street London SE11 5RH 21 March 2014 - 18 May 2014 Open: Wed-Sun, 12-6pm The politics of the food industry and failed experiments in branding come under the scrutiny of Maryam Jafri’s research-driven practice that combines moving image and photo-text works.