There is a tendency in finding a superior beauty, symbolism, and meaning when writing about works of art, in a way elevating their position to serve an idealistic purpose to humanity. As Peter Schjeldahl quotes and Gilda William’s mentions in her book "How to Write About Contemporary Art": “The first rule for good art-writing might be the attempt, sincerely, to render artwork more meaningful, more enjoyable, attaching 'something more and better' to art and life than without it”. By removing optimistic views, it allows us to concentrate on the pieces of art themselves, and identifying what they deal with and how they deal with it. “Vanessa and Martin’s Notes” believes some things can be left unsaid, that’s why we are displaying the process of taking notes when visiting an exhibition.
Amusement parks have that peculiar quality of being fun yet spine-chilling at the same time. I got that feeling, familiar from childhood recollections, in Jonathan Trayte's current exhibition “Schussboomer” at Castor Projects, London, where three voluminous sculptures reminiscent of landscape formations are brought to life in the form of flashing lights, animated movements, and pre-recorded sounds by introducing 20p coins.
Curated by Rosalind Davis, “Make_Shift” at Collyer Bristow Gallery invites the viewers to an aestheticised view of the utilitarian, where a cluster of objects and images are craftily altered in terms of in their natural emphasis, direction, or focus. Such items or representations include a chair that can’t be sat on, an anonymous toy that is unfitted to play with, or an ephemeral sculpture amongst other works, carefully arranged to intrude our perceptions.
The identity of opposites
The first time we saw Thomas Langley's works at Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop, they vociferously called attention to an internal conflict the artist is dealing with, where the only possible course of action is a highly objectionable one. Langley uses a very direct language that is initially disturbing, where everything is revealed to us, and the works start becoming meaningful because of their familiarity.