Saturday, 19 February 2011


Photo of the Corke gallery, taken by Will Facer

I will be exhibiting work in the Corke gallery on Aigburth road with another student from the course, Will Facer. The Corke is a small, private gallery, with good light and white walls. I'll be exhibiting drawings in gold frames, and Will will be exhibiting photo-montage. Our artwork isn't directly related, although we both use graphic means to carry a broader artistic message. Nick Corke, the gallery owner, seems agreeable, so I don't think we'll have any trouble putting together a show of quite a good standard.

I'm also exhibiting as part of the exhibition in the Liverpool Academy of Art in town. This exhibition has a much broader mix of students in it, nearly 30 in total. I'll exhibit drawn works there too, although my concern is that it may be hard to stand out amongst such a broad mix of work. The theme is "relationships," and as my artwork is reflective and therefore a representation of my ego or perceived self, I think I'll fit the brief. 

I had also been talking with a group about exhibiting in the Wolstenholme, although I was involved from quite a late stage. The Wolstenholme's atmosphere would have played quite well off my gold-framed drawings I think, with the ragged, run-down feel of the building maybe serving to heighten their sense of macabre. Unfortunately the Wolstenholme exhibit fell through, and the back-up option, the Students Union, didn't really strike me as appropriate for my artwork. The space has real potential to be transformed with installation or performance artwork, and I'm excited to see the show that will be put on there, although there were no spaces where I felt my drawings could be appreciated in the same way. The "office" feeling of the space was something that hanging a picture wouldn't really change, although other methods of presentation definitely could.

I also intend to exhibit video artworks as part of the art school dance, as I feel they're not too intrusive and will suit a more casual display environment.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

we are having a heavenly time

nam june paik

I went to see Nam June Paik's "Laser Cone" in FACT Liverpool. Lying back and watching the visuals was a really novel, compelling experience, and it really showed the potential of more modern artistic media. The piece felt fun and not overly earnest, without the need for a deep concept or agenda. I like artwork that's direct in this way. 

The work in Tate was more of a mixed bag. Paik's "TV Garden" was obviously quite special, and "One Candle" had a very simple, iconic feel. These instillation works presented a set of imagery that kind of put the question of the artwork's worth back into the hands of the viewer. This is something I've found tedious in the past, but Paik's visual language was one I could occasionally find myself quite absorbed in, more than say Tate's previous Rothko exhibition. I thought his "Aunt" and "Uncle" sculptures had quite a  concise, simple message, and many of the more Zen-focused works felt quite witty and informed. The works that alluded to broader truths were the ones I thought were the most worthy.

I suppose now, because the art world is so saturated with video artwork, I found much of Paik's less sculptural work quite tedious and obtuse. I think that video collage, at any length, can be really boring without narrative. It's our natural instinct to piece together a narrative or meaning in what we're seeing, so it becomes a real effort to take in more ambient, abstract pieces like those in the upstairs of FACT. I rarely have the patience. The fault probably lies with me as the viewer, but in general, it's just not to my taste. Avante-garde is often accused of being a bit empty, and I felt Paik's works were in some ways indulgent and shallow a lot of the time.

I'm not sure whether seeing these works has made me think about what I plan to do with my own video works. Video artwork is different to film in that you absorb it in a much more casual sense, so I think that would have to be a consideration in whatever way I choose to display it.