03 August 2012

Three exhibitions and a pavilion

Over to the Serpentine Gallery, first to have a sit in the cork-lined pavilion, which digs down to the level of the water table, encounters archaeological remnants of previous years' pavilions, and retains a watery mirror on its flat roof - ostensibly reflecting the sky but looking more the colour of cork itself -
 In the gallery, Yoko Ono's work spanning the 1960s to pretty much yesterday; outside, a wishing tree, and round the back, a chance to be part of her Smile film -
 Right across town, work by Sarah Sze - the gallery becomes a kind of laboratory for observation, examination, and exploration of our psychological and emotional location in our environment -

Upstairs were Grayson Perry's tapestries, a modern version of Hogarth's The Rake's Progress, full of fascinating contemporary detail; what will they think of it all, a hundred years from now? See them here. Thanks to digital technology, the detailed and skillful intermediation of his designs into complex interweavings of many different threads is invisible. In looking for more info about the "craft" aspect of translating the drawings into tapestry, I found  this video about his Walthamstow Tapestry (2009). Although the tapestries are produced on a digital loom, they don't have "that dead feeling" that you associate with digital things, he says.

He's right-on about rebellion and consumerism in that video, and talks about the pots in that 2009 show too - this one has a map of the new Westfield shopping centre and then was smashed and put back together by a restorer, using the oriental idea of gilding the joins to highlight the preciousness of the object. The gilding makes an alternative map -
A video of a visit to Grayson Perry's studio in Walthamstow, sprinkled with wryly quotable nuggets about life as an artist, is here.

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