The Going Public along with being in Site and SIA, the exhibit spreads out throughout the City's main galleries, including the Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery and a new venue, the Cathedral.
The Graves Gallery has an intensive Marcel Duchamp exhibit from the Marzona Collection. The exhibit made me feel like I was routing around someone's shelving unit to discover sketchbooks, leaflets, promotional posters and occasional finished pieces from Duchamp and the Dada movement. I enjoyed the set out of the the "Box in a Suitcase" which is a gallery in itself including display cabinets, prints, information and artwork. After watching a video on how the piece fits together it made me want to see it in the flesh, and it didn't disappoint. In a time where Duchamp was creating his ready-mades the box is a ready-made gallery, if only I could try and put it together with my own hands.
My favourite pieces of Going Public lay in the Millennium Gallery from the Cattelain Collection. The Anthony McCall - 'Meeting You Halfway II' (2002) piece is something I could spend all day in, how something so simplistic as a light and a smoke machine can evoke such a sense of happiness is just brilliant. I have been in the exhibit around 10+ times now making sure all my friends see it before the exhibit ends.
Another piece in the Millennium Galleries is the photographs by Lewis Baltz - Candlestick Point (1989) which not only is similar to the work I'm pursuing with my polaroids but the layout of the piece was really well set together, simple black frames with the photographs tacked into the corners meant the whole image was on display and en masse looked impressive and told a story.
The pieces in the Cathedral that I found myself repeatedly going to see where The Chapman Brothers - Cyber Iconic Man (1996) and the sculpture I unfortunately didn't take the name of at the end of the main hall which was made of our wax and depicted the mental suffering of man. Again, with the Chapman piece I enjoyed seeing the other visitors whince and not quite sure what to make of the piece. I found it a piece that looked like it had had better days but loved the juxtaposition of it in the cathedral in front of a brass set up of saints and torture devices. Micol Assael - Your Hidden Sound (2004) sound piece in the catacombs was also a delight.
Overall I can't say enough about this whole exhibition, I've really enjoyed all of it and the fact I visited it many times over again proves that. I hope that Sheffield can organise something like this again in the future, I've read that it took four years to put the exhibition together and it really was worth it.
Sometimes Sheffield can really surprise me and provide something so wonderful it makes me so proud to be from the city. Going Public is one of those things.
An exhibition that spans over five galleries and collections that vary greatly and provide art in all manner of places I have enjoyed each exhibit, some more so than others. To start with the Site Gallery which has part of the dslcollection. I didn't really connect with any of the pieces in the gallery and my only reasoning for this is that I didn't read into what they meant but the pretentious side of me says I shouldn't have to, which made me think of Clement Greenberg: "The so-called obscurity of modernist literature has, of course, a lot to do with the new stress on exegesis. When the overt meaning of a work can no longer be taken for granted, criticism is forced — or seems forced — to undertake the explication of the text of the work before doing anything else. But experience has shown us by now that the drift and shape of an "obscure" poem or novel can be grasped for the purposes of art without being "worked out." Part of the triumph of modernist poetry is, indeed, to have demonstrated the great extent to which verse can do without explicit meaning and yet not sacrifice anything essential to its effect as art. Here, as before, successful art can be depended upon to explain itself." I have since found out that the Site Gallery has an audio tour of the pieces within the gallery, my opinion may change after listening.
The same dslcollection is also in the SIA gallery where I found myself entranced with some of the video pieces in the gallery, especially the Planting Geese by Zheng Guogu which brought out the sadist in me. In the video, the artist plants geese in a field and then paints their heads black. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing other visitors in the gallery in discomfort watching the same piece. The geese weren't necessarily harmed but the very nature of it being unnatural was something that seemed to affect people.
There is also a photograph in SIA by Guogu called 'Me and My Teacher', which is a wonderfully large image of the artist and a homeless man that he spent time with over a six month period. It has the artist present yet it's not a traditional self portrait, also it's an image of two people laughing and I found it refreshing for something in a contemporary gallery, the more I looked at it the more I liked it.
Other work included in the SIA gallery such as the structure by Xu Tan that you could enter and also write on one side with a black marker, and another video piece by Yang Jiechang - Oh God/Oh Diu, which after a while watching the artist repetitively write and announce the words became quite hypnotic. Overall, I believe the SIA had the better choice of the collection. I shall definitely be attending the galleries again before the whole exhibition comes to a close.
Over the last few weeks I've been putting together my entry for the Saatchi Gallery UK/RAINE: Emerging artists from the UK and the Ukraine competition.
The eight images I selected and the statement I supplied are below, for further details you can check out the website here. Let's see how this goes!
Carved into the landscape of our known perception of natural beauty are the scars of an industrial era gone by. Resources have been taken from the earth in such a feat of mankind that traces will remain for centuries to come.
In this series of work, my aim is to document the imprint left behind and to reduce the vast landscapes to a small framed format photograph. With the use of a folding Polaroid camera and creating instant images whilst en situ; I capture the remnants of the unnatural scenery. The limitation of the technology complements the history of the subject matter and my attempt to regain the pause before taking a photograph.
Reservoirs, quarries and mine shafts are subjects of my artwork and every peeled photograph is important to my development.