Monday, 3 May 2010

Naomi Filmer; Edible Expressions, Ice Jewellery and Body Sculpture.

Initially my interest lay in her utilisation of transient materials
(ice and chocolate).
I remember seeing the limited edition facial expression chocolate lollipops in the V & A shop and liking the idea of edible art;
I suspect that many would just have to eat the damn things rather than stick them away in a box, or have them permanently out on show to torment! No one I know would be immune to the knowledge that there is chocolate lurking somewhere in the house. I wonder how many still exist?
Anyway, the notion of using materials that can be ingested (the ultimate consumption/assimilation of the art object) or that melt and degrade in some way is one that I plan to explore. So, her ice jewellery and installation for 'Be-hind Be-fore Be-yond' are of particular interest.
The sinuous quality, organic forms and reflective surfaces of her metal pieces are really seductive and seeing them for me, provokes a desire to investigate their surfaces, weight and temperature. Innovative, sensual and unnerving, her use of materials often has a prosthetic quality or carries fetishistic associations, suggesting danger and violence.
I find some of the work difficult aesthetically but really like the thinking behind the objects.

Touch Me Exhibition at the V&A 2005

I discovered this exhibition while searching for work by the jewellery designer Naomi Filmer. Can't understand why I didn't go to see this at the time but glad to have found it now. Lots of really good stuff in the exhibition and resources sections but sadly only a few images so definitely want to lay my hands on a copy of the catalogue. Hopefully I will be able to track one down somewhere.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Restless; Ron Arad at the Barbican Art Gallery

A Concise Dictionary of Fashion; Judith Clarke & Adam Philips

Visited 2/05/2010

Went to see this fantastic installation at the weekend. Set within Blythe House, previously home to the post office savings bank, now the repository for the V & A archive. This is an hour long exploration of the building and its contents punctuated by a series of curatorial and psychoanalytical responses to the fashion collection.  These are presented in the form of site specific installations accompanied by definitions that provoke an idiosyncratic interpretation of the clothing in terms of 'anxiety, wish and desire'. The guide is not allowed to answer questions about interpretation but can assist with information about materials and practical matters concerning the conservation areas and stores that we pass through. Personal response and interpretation are everything and each visitor to the piece will notice a different set of details. The building is vast; a labyrinth of alarmed corridors on I can't remember how many floors. A warren of staircases, cavernous rooms containing racks, glass fronted cupboards, cabinets and rolls and rolls of textiles wrapped up in conservation white. You catch a glimpse of objects partially obscured by the glare of light on glass and have to pop back momentarily to confirm what you have seen. A spinning wheel, an Islamic vessel, the edge of, what looked like, a stunningly ornate Grinling Gibbons mirror. Stacks, rows, objects propped up against walls and the orderly labels, the labelling and organising of a vast collection of 'things', mostly hand written, some crossed out and updated. Instructions to staff... 'Do not  put anything on this surface or use it for rolling' and there are staff there on a Sunday, waiting patiently for us to move on so they can resume their work carefully shifting artifacts on a trolley. We start at the top of the building, on the roof with panoramic views over London and finish in the basement. I notice strange and seemingly unimportant things; three plastic bin liners of rubbish in a corridor, the surface of a wall, a piece of disused machinery, the thing about an 'Experience' like this is that you are always questioning what parts of the environment are manufactured?

The 'interventions' are whimsical, provocative, amusing, evocative, playful and challenging.