Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, curated by Mark Leckey, Nottingham Contemporary, 27 Apr 2013 - 30 Jun 2013

As far as I can see, Nottingham Contemporary is the most daring, relevant and stylish gallery in the land. Hot on the heels of John Newling's earthy geo-exhibition, Ecologies of Value, which featured balls made from mulch, plants growing in a plastic shed, and living kale walking sticks, the NC has staged an equally outrĂ© show by Mark Leckey, the Turner Prize winning artist from Birkenhead. 

Curating is to art what DJ-ing is to music nowadays, and here Mark Leckey has assembled a seemingly disparate, but actually tightly and cleverly themed collection of art. Some of these are obscure/ some by famous artists such as William Blake. Not one of the exhibits, or the complex synergies between them is boring or mundane, however, which puts the actuality of the collection at odds with its ponderous title. Leckey presents us with car wheels without a car, an alimentary canal, flickering cine-camera footage, the sputnik satellite, the death mask of William Blake, a leg being born by, or swallowed up by a sanitised vagina; and then there is the room in which the erect Cerne Abbas giant and hanging projectors flicker noisily under florescent lights. All immediately interesting and thought provoking.

What thoughts does it provoke? What themes lie beneath this fizzing, exuberant collection of unique but interconnected art?

That's for you, the viewer, to work out. Go see it before it finishes. Bunk off work, miss your classes, get somebody to pick up the kids, beg, borrow or steal the fare to Nottingham  . . . Do what it takes  - just go. 

You have until 30th of June. 

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