Christian Marclay at The White Cube and The Nether at The Duke of York

Posted: February 21, 2015 in Home
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Christian Marclay

http://whitecube.com/exhibitions/christian_marclay_bermondsey_2015/

I visited the Christian Marclay exhibition at The White Cube with my husband, daughter and ten-year old granddaughter, who was a remarkably sophisticated commentator.

“A further set of onomatopoeia is put in motion for the first time in a large-scale video installation Surround Sounds (2014-15) which projects across four walls. To make the work, the artist collated a lexicon of the sound effects made by characters in superhero stories. The scanned cut-outs were then animated using the software programme After Effects in a dynamic choreography that suggests the acoustic properties of each word. ‘Boom’, for example, is no longer static on the page, but bursts into life in a sequence of colourful explosions, while ‘Whooosh!’ and ‘Zoooom!’ travel at high speed around the walls. The work fuses the aural with the visual, and immerses the viewer in a silent musical composition.”

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This was really effective. You are encased in a black room while all these things dance across the walls, in a constantly changing flux. Probably not a good idea as I have just had labyrinthitis but it was so good “I saw it twice”.

“In a new video installation entitled Pub Crawl (2014), the artist coaxes sound from the empty glasses, bottles and cans that he finds abandoned on the streets of East London, during early morning weekend walks. In a series of projections that run the length of the gallery’s corridor, these discarded vessels are hit, rolled and crushed, forming a lively sound track that echoes throughout the space.”

 

 

 

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This was interesting, as the interplay with the sounds and the video with the shadows going past was dynamic if London’s detritus was depressing. It was something  to be passed through, not studied.

The drunk or drinking motif continued with found sheet music of drinking songs behind bottle glass which was less effective. It might have been better had the vinyl pressing been in action, though my husband (a physicist)  loved the machinery. The point was made over and over and over…

 

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“a series of works on canvas and paper that feature onomatopoeia taken from comic books. Unlike earlier instances of sound mimesis in his work, these focus solely on the wet sounds suggestive of the action of painting. Combining cartoon-strip imagery and the dripping, pouring and splashing noises associated with gestural abstraction, the works ironically bridge a gap between art movements as distinct as Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. This is also reflected in the method in which they have been made; a combination of painting overlaid with screen printing.”

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These were great, I longed for a minimalist loft with one of these on the walls. they were full of movement, and i enjoyed seeing the processes involved, the spattering, dripping, swirling.

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We all disliked the performance which involved pouring wine into a grid of glasses, gargling with it then spitting it out slowly into a cup., even if it did  continue “the aqueous motif”.

When we got back to my daughter’s , Nev and I had an argument about the value of intelligence combined with effort in modern art which ended

“You always want to argue” – me

“I can’t say anything to that” – him

The Nether

http://www.dukeofyorkstheatre.co.uk/The-Nether.html

“The Nether offers complete freedom – a new virtual wonderland provides total sensory immersion. Just log in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire.

But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment, she triggers an interrogation into the darkest corners of imagination.

Winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, The Nether is both an intricate crime drama and a haunting sci-fi thriller that explores the consequences of making dreams a reality. This new play follows an investigation into the complicated and disturbing morality of identity in a digital world.”

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Imogen and I saw this on Wednesday evening. It was a short play (7.30 pm to 8.45 pm) but it raised so many dilemmas. If a virtual child is abused in a virtual world that feels real, is it abuse or is it a safe refuge for potential offenders?

The futuristic setting, the movement from reality to fantasy, were all gripping. The set design of a virtual Victorian house in a woodland paradise, created against a 2050 reality of a dystopian world was outstanding.

So pleased that we saw this one out of all the possibles. We were struggling with the nuisance of fully booked theatres for other things we considered, so  it was an outsider, but not to be missed.

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