Time and Truth: Why is there so much film on the London art scene right now?
It is possible right now to spend entire days viewing Art Film in London. Christian Marclay’s The Clock would take you 24 hours to view (although he begs you not to try), the Turner Prize shortlist this year is almost all film and takes the best part of a day to view, Strange Days: Memories of the Future, at The Store X, again would take a day to view in its entirety. There is no shortage of Art Film to see. But why? Why is there so much film on the London art scene right now?
If art reflects our society and as Laura Cumming comments “it would be hard to avoid the obvious intersection between these works and the maelstrom of modern times: they are like dark reflecting mirrors”, then our society is in no mood for irreverence. “Earnestness” seems to be the “plat du jour” with an aperitif served of “Compassion”. It is possible that all this film encourages and inspires a connectivity between people that is meaningful. Potentially, this is the best we can do in all the chaos.
A great prank? A clever commentary on the state of the art world? Yes. Great art? No.
Today, 13 October 2018, Will Gompertz’s BBC review on Banksy’s shredded Love is in the Bin is trending top of the BBC website. Gompertz believes Love is in the Bin “will come to be seen as one of the most significant artworks of the early 21st century.”
Love is in the Bin is a fun work of theatre and performance. It is also a sad reminder that sometimes art is only valued as an asset. However, for some truly significant artworks of the early 21st century go and see the Turner shortlist this year and forget about Banksy’s prank.
A Fantastic Fermentation of Matter
Kim L Pace’s solo show at the Danielle Arnaud Gallery refused to sit in any one category of analysis. It is rare to not know at the end of a viewing what one has looked at although one thing was certain: the art on view was enchanting and left one feeling rather bewitched.
Pace’s fantastical work can be interpreted as unpicking the current uneasy relationship between mankind and nature, our cultural acceptance of our need to care for the natural world alongside our disregard for its real needs and the sacrifices we need to make in order for the natural world to continue to ‘ferment’.
MAKING 'A CATASTROPHE OF UNSPEAKABLE MAGNITUDE'
The aim of this project was to somehow represent a broad interpretation of the experience of motherhood amongst X Generation women and to challenge invested sensitivities around fertility, value, self-belief and sanity.
Based on the same interviews with 28 women as used in an earlier film ‘About Creativity’ and inspired by the films of Sally Potter, Daria Martin, William Kentridge, Tacita Dean and Jennet Thomas, this four and a half minute docufictional film explores the lives of three women and their experience of fertility.
Making 'ABout Creativity'
The aim of this project was to somehow represent a broad interpretation of creativity in the lives of women within my social circle. I am interested in the idea that creativity is a ‘vital’ act of being human and I am interested in the idea that art can be a social tool . I am inspired with the knowledge that I am surrounded by amazing women who do amazing things every day. This document refers to the original 16 minute long version of the film.
Art vs. Craft
This year UAL (University Arts London) is celebrating a ‘Year of Craft’. In the recent past craftsmanship has been belittled by the conceptually based world of fine art. It seems however, that craft is making a comeback. Again. I decided to conduct a little local research and to explore my own feelings about the place of craft in the world of art. As a start I interviewed London based master potter Gregory Tingay and Surrey based artist Jane Bohane.
Value in Art
I recently attended a lecture given by Kim Pace at UAL. She suggested that our current perception of value in art is linked to two conditions: pluralism and globalization. We looked at Marxist theories on value: material, labour and use. This contrasted with the idea of the readymade. We looked at art in a digital world, how artists might engage with technology and the return to an appreciation of craft and effort. The lecture looked at a wide definition of ‘value’ not just limited to how much a work might be worth in money.
Two Works of Film Juxtaposed
Sitting and observing Parreno's 'Anywhen' for an hour leaves one disappointed and dissatisfied. It is surely a day’s work to come close to understanding what the artist intended. As a musician I was aware that the sound element was complex and in a large way responsible for my successful immersion in an atmospheric and subaquatic world. However, the multiple screens and floating fish seemed too small for such a large place. Was Parreno not ambitious enough?
Sculpture in the Expanded Field & Pseudo-modernism
Krauss defines a structure which attempts to map how sculpture has developed beyond the historically limited meaning of the word. She equates this mapping to post-modernism as understood in the field of painting. Modernist sculpture is defined as not-landscape and not-architecture. Krauss looks at what happens when an artist’s work is landscape and / or architecture. Krauss applies a mathematical logic to arrive at a definition of sculpture for the change in what artists were doing as seen in the years 1968 – 1971.