Friday, June 14, 2013

Alternative Guide to the Universe- The Hayward Gallery

This is a weird exhibition. I had expected a much more positive and entrancing experience when I went along with my friend. Nova Castria.
I'd torn a page out of the Guardian and watched a preview on the local BBC News programme and was expecting an afternoon of inspiration.
Instead, I felt a sense of being trapped in the heads of obsessive men, whose attempts to nail down the beauty of life in mathematical schemes and quasi-scientific diagrams reminded me of people at school who seemed to be afraid of the realities of life and who hunkered down spinning protective webs of pencil lines and shooting missiles of carefully formed semi-algebraic numbers and letters at intruders.
That was not the worst of it. As I wandered past a wall of intricately-designed building plans created to represent people by the 'artist' A.G. Rizzoli, I realised that at least two of the buildings were representations of young girls who visited his house to see the exhibitions of his work that he staged there.
I went across to read the information about the lifelong virgin whose work, he says, diverts urges that might be taboo should he put them into practice, or something along those lines.
So the guy realised he was a latent paedophile? So what is his work doing here?
Worse still were the horrible dolls made by Morton Bartlett, who took a year to make each one and learned to sew and knit so he could dress them and then pose them as ballerinas and so on.
I know a lot of women who make dolls and am not expressing a prejudice agains men doing this. But there was something more than creepy about the way the dolls were posed, and the physical early-adolescent bodies of his subjects. Really nasty.
Nova Castria also really disliked the work of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, which she nicknamed 'Reader's Wives'. The guy had photographed his wife in many poses, sometimes naked. Pictures of their claustrophobic relationship scattered the walls with obsessive repetition.
This is a vile exhibition. We felt tainted by it all afternoon, and our visit to Tate Modern was tempered by an over-heightened awareness of what painters actually might be thinking when they create art that features women and children.
Ugh, ugh, ugh!
To be boycotted at all costs.

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