Sunday, 17 January 2010

What If?

Last December I went to the Royal Academy to make sure I was not missing out on the most talked about exhibition of the year: the "unmissable" Anish Kapoor show. I happened to make it there on the evening of the last day of this show and although I expected it to be busy, I certainly did not expect a seemingly never ending queue of office workers and families zigzagging across the whole Royal Academy Courtyard. I rang my friend Juliet who was still on her way to tell her not to bother, as there was no way I was joining this blind insanity, but she arrived soon after and whizzed us in thanks to her lifesaving RA member's card. Apparently this Kapoor show was the most visited show the Royal Academy had EVER had. Well we went in and I was impressed by the feel of this kind of fleshy gigantic orifice like wall thing we first saw and then went on walking about having light fun with the famous deforming mirrors, the static piles of concrete turds, the gigantic mount of wax slowly moving from room to room and making a right mess of the place, saw the canon shooting (aimlessly) at the wall and walked out again. As we concluded with my friend Frank today, this was nothing more than a funfair version of Ikea abracadabrarubbish, it said nothing, it was not challenging, it was hardly clever (since when have those deforming mirrors become cutting edge art pieces?) and it had no meaningful impact on people visiting it either it seems. I heard so many wonderful things about this show I thought it needed to be said that it was all an illusion. So we went on to the "Wild Thing" exhibition upstairs, nothing wild about that either, just an odd collection of items clumsily shown together I thought. So our hunger for art led us to the BACK of the Royal Acedemy on burlington st where the Earth exhibition was showing:

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/gsk-contemporary-season-2009

Well as it is often the case, the really exciting stuff was hiding at the back of the circus, and this was a show to be remembered by the challenging and compelling collection of artists and their exploration into the issues the human specie is currently facing with the dramatic effects of climate change to come. It was admittedly unsettling and discomforting at times, but it was very well curated and involved emotions ,not intellectual ego. This video is the one that brought me to my knees in tears. I hope you like it.



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