Neil Hudson (neilhudson) wrote,
Neil Hudson

I went on another interesting art walk recently. We started in St Marys with an exhibition by Bruce Naumann. This was preceded by a talk by the Curator (I don’t remember her name) who made a lot of the unintentional juxtaposition of the art with its venue. In particular, she noted how the slogan “partial truth” on a granite slab was next to a grave inscription marked “she led an exemplary life and had a happy death”. I didn’t really object to any of the art (unlike the usual baffled outrage in the comments books, works of art in themselves) but I don’t think any of it really spoke to me either.
We then walked to the Amnesty book shop in Goodramgate, which I didn’t even know existed. This was a “pop-up” exhibition curated by local art students, inspired by the Naumann exhibition, and was much my favourite of the three stops. For one thing there was more work by Poppy Whatmore, a small model that seems to be a study of the room she entered for the Aesthetica Prize, and a door that had been dismantled and folded (called, pleasingly, There’s More Than One Way To Open A Door), which confirmed my opinion of her from the first walk. Upstairs was a piece of performance art by Charlotte Salt and Bonnie Powell called Wrapping and Unwrapping: A Mind Traveller’s Guide, which we were encouraged to drop in and out of. We were encouraged to drop in and out of this. The work consisted of the two women sitting at a table playing a game with tarot cards, to a soundtrack, largely consisting of static and a beat, and regular instructions given on the soundtrack: I wasn’t clear if these were instructions that weren’t being obeyed, or descriptions that were false. I love this kind of weirdness, and the sense that we were in a completely different space and situation than the one we were supposedly in. But people drifted off, and I would have found it much too embarrassing to be the last person watching. I also liked three collages that were on the walls, which I was told was a student’s leftover A-level coursework.
Sorry, Bruce, you got out-arted by students.
We then went off to our last stop, part of the Illuminating York exhibition . This was Experiential Consumption by Ritchard Allaway, a post-grad student accompanied by his tutor, which made me just as self-conscious as he was. His work consisted of a tree on which numerous coloured fluorescent tubes had been hung, and was to illustrate a dragon consuming the tree. It was effective enough, although the type of person who writes in comments books would probably claim it was just a load of lights on a tree.
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