Sunday, 21 December 2008

Artists take on architecture

Some sunday in august, i think, i took my bike with my friends to the south bank and waited behind around 30 to get inside the hayward, we were also harassed, or interacted with, by some youth theatre company sweeping and cleaning us. I was hopeful for this exhibition, considering there are a lot of artists that have a strong architectural sensibility in their work.

The first thing you see is ernesto neto's work which looks playful and is filled with smells of christmas and citrus. This sits in the middle of the space and looks like it could be pulled from another one of his exhibitions, and although you can - and cannot refrain to - walk through the notice of "do not touch" changes your attention from absorbing yourself in the work to watching where your hands are. This denial of the sense of touch does not do much to heighten the experience of others but frustrate your curiosity and deny the possibility of texture/smell/vision association.

Other pieces focused on the issue of scale; two dolls houses colliding into each other, a collection of 200 of rachel whitereads dollhouses and a paper mache 1:1 playhouse.
Atelier bow-wow's introduction is probably the most engaging of the lot, which inserts a metallic cave structure to connect three levels, two by level by scrambiling through the tight and low tunnel and also by sight and sound upwards through the tunnel that winds its way up in the gaps in the stairwell. It creates something from a mostly redundant space in the gallery like the nest of a metallic insect.

And as for the boating lake on the roof thats another matter; after i've waited some time to get inside the exhibition, i really don't expect to wait another three times inside the gallery for various events -mini-cinema, boating lake, geodesic dome- i don't really care how they would sort it out, let people wait longer outside, etc its just frustrating after you pay your money to have to wait repeatedly, i know we're british and supposedly love that shit but its just not my thing.

Overall i still see the artists looking at their work very protectively and reluctant to engage with the public other than just an observer, there were some good ideas but i could not get over the distance that they put infront of their work, and the arrogance that comes with "taking on architecture" and producing a show which looks like they haven't changed their perspective to tackle the subject of architecture.