Sunday, 16 May 2010
Sorry, We're Open
There is nothing I enjoy more than being reclusive, which is what I have been doing, burrowed away amongst books and dust, for the last couple of weeks. I did, however, manage to emerge blinking into the light (or rain) to attend a gallery show called 'Sorry We're Open.' This was at Unit 2 on Whitechapel Road, and the pavement outside was thronged with people wearing jeans so skinny I wanted to take them to a hospital and put them on an intravenous drip.
Inside there was a huge wall of light switches (which, being, as I am, rather like a rat in a maze, I pressed many times in the hope that something would happen. It was only after I'd pressed them all that someone came running up and told me that every time a switch was pressed, someone somewhere died. You know, like in that crazy film The Box, which I still haven't seen, but really want to.) So, a huge wall of lethal light switches, and a vast orange climbing frame, and a video of some men dancing, and a photo story in which two men's heads got sewn on to each other's bodies (projected onto a screen, it was like watching a really weird version of Deirdre's Photo Casebook, only with hospital beds and surgery instead of pouting lovelies in lingerie). Only joking about the switches, by the way: apparently a light went on somewhere in the world. I only hope that noone was trying to read by the one I was pressing.
Two pictures caught me: I discovered later that they were by the same person: Charlotte Bracegirdle. One painting was like looking through a bright window into some strange other world: it was a version of Courbet's 'The Painter's Studio', but with all the figures taken out. I almost wanted to be sucked into it, to have my own personality dilated and erased, a nightmarish and seductive proposition. The other was a photograph of a disembodied dress, floating, black and white, spectral. Both pictures stay firmly rooted in the retina, firm reminders of the impermanence of personality.
I also managed to attend the opening of a new magazine, called Dare2. It's an ecologically aware journal that shows how you can be fashionable and save the world at the same time. It's online, of course. There was a goody bag, but unfortunately I lost it on the way home. Someone very lucky will no doubt find a nice selection of green soaps and face creams, appropriately enough, on the District Line. Here is a link to their website: DARE2