Sunday, 19 August 2012
Saturday, 28 July 2012
Thursday, 12 July 2012
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...the cinematic genius behind such films as Being John Malcovitch, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.
...we want to make Anomalisa without the interference of the typical big studio process.
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Sunday, 19 June 2011
I should start by apologising, you will undoubtedly have noticed I have not been on holiday for three whole months, partly because I have written another blog post since then, and also because my blog readership is still very much in the “people that know me directly” stage.
I’d like to pick up directly where I left off, but unfortunately so much time has passed since my visit, that looking at my own notes now is like trying to read French (or if you can speak French, some other language). So this might not be exactly the most clear and comprehensive of reviews.
Towner, in its current incarnation, is a young gallery, having only opened in 2009, so is still very much trying to carve out it’s own identity, a challenge which must be made all the more difficult by the galleries Tate connections.
They’ve let them use the font and everything.
The collection I saw (which ended in March) attempted to marry its local and national links, containing a mix of mid 20th century artists based along the Sussex coast, and high profile established contemporary artists such as Grayson Perry and Tracy Emin, only to came across as rather disjointed. The low light of the exhibition for me however was a more simple error in curation, the placement of a large, text heavy, and diagrammatic Grayson Perry etching “Map of Nowhere” just outside a video piece with a loud accompanying soundtrack. Not a problem for (and presumably installed by) anyone who is capable of reading in a noisy environment, but not being one of those people myself, this seemed the least suitable of all the works on display to hang in such a distraction riddled spot.
Click for big, but turn the radio on first.
That’s all for the review, but the snippets I can still remember after the last three months are nonetheless useful; my most strongly retained memory of the main collection is not of a new and interesting work or a revealing insight, but of an error. No exhibition will ever be perfect, but it must leave the viewer with something that clings in the mind, everything average will be forgotten in time, it’s the extremes that linger, and at such a young age, it’s vital that The Tower aim for as many of those positive extremes as possible as it finds its feet, if it is to establish itself as firmly as it’s parent galleries in London.
Saturday, 9 April 2011
Say what you will about Koons' Michael Jackson and Bubbles, but it wasn't a piece of public sculpture, was in a reasonably good pose, and most importantly, was made from the fairly sound material of porcelain, rather than being carved directly from the nightmares of children.
Saturday, 5 March 2011
Even having been warned before hand that the sculptures on display were going to be much much smaller than the scale free poster suggested, it was still a shock on entering the exhibition to see the floor dotted with such tiny standing figures. Each one untitled, unelevated, seemingly unsupported (but actually held in place underneath by “gallery wax”*) and most surprisingly unfenced. The diminutive characters mill casually amongst the gallery attendees, presented equally as people in themselves rather than separated off as “the artwork”.
One of the effects of this less than usual display method is it forces the viewer to crouch in order to properly see each piece, creating a greater level of engagement than simply gazing at something which had been bought up to your eye level - again something which adds to characterisation of the figures, making them appear as more than just inanimate representations.
The craftsmanship of the sculptures is amazing, single blocks of lime wood carved into flowing hair, limply dangling cigarettes and open bags filled with page-marked books. I would disagree with Towner themselves as to it being this element alone which creates the lifelike feeling of the work, and argue rather that this exhibition is very much the sum of all its parts; the pieces and display working in perfect tandem with each other to create a single effect.
If there is any problem with Suzuki’s work however, it is the rather limiting nature of his choice of theme. Taking his characters from the “fashion and youth culture” of the area around his Hackney studio, does give you the feeling whilst wondering amongst the works, that you are crashing the worlds tiniest hipster party.
Your humble writer, in conversation with a work by Tomoaki Suzuki.
All in all though the exhibition is a triumph of both artistry and curation, I just hope that Suzuki eventually casts his keen eye over the far less fashionable masses which make up the rest of the world.
Come back soon for the thrilling second half; a general review of The Towner Gallery. In the mean time, I am off on holiday, toodleoo everyone!