I will be performing my art work ‘I can see the world through the stars…’ at Parasol Unit on 2 May, as part of a performance evening which includes new work by Dante Rendle-Traynor, Iranian avant-garde group Parstronix, electronic sound artist Jeremy Hubbard.
‘I can see the world through the stars…’ involves me folding tiny Origami stars out of maps of London, asks the audience to participate on a one-to-one basis by telling me a story about the city whilst I fold. They get to keep the star, and their story in it, or they can unfold it and return to the map. The work draws on my artistic interest in cities, pyschogeography, topography, maps and story telling.
If you’d like to come you can buy tickets at the link above.
Published in July last year in Triple Canopy it takes a look at the strangely universal and often utterly nonsensical words spouted by many contemporary art galleries in their press releases.
Now this is not exactly news to me, having spent many years learning to speak this ‘language’ and then trying to unlearn it, in order to communicate about art in a way that actually makes sense!
As a web editor specialising in art I would love to get rid of this kind of writing as it alienates so many people from contemporary art. And if you think the hyperbole of art speak is bad when you read it off of a printed gallery handout, reading it on the web, especially off your mobile phone screen, is even worse. If your sentences are longer than your screen size, you’ve most definitely lost me!
But let’s not think this is isolated to the galleries, artists are well and truly steeped in the art of describing their work with words that twist your head and leave you none the wiser as to what their work is actually about.
We need to let go of the idea that this ‘specialist language’ denotes a ‘good artist’ or a ‘serious gallery’ and accept that good work, and clear words, will stand up for themselves.