Saturday, 9 May 2009

A Clump of Plinths @ The Lowry

You know when it's time for the Turner Prize when the TV stations roll out Vox Pop footage of 'joe public' gormlessly carping about the inequities of modern art.

It's easy for the half informed, middle brow, middle class to sigh and roll their eyes at the wilful ignorance of the man on the street.

Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to agree with them.

I thought Sarah Staton's 'A Clump of Plinths' - which is the second of a series of commission to fill the Promenade Gallery at the Lowry - was going to be pretty interesting. I liked the name, it was playful, thoughtful and very of the moment. 

Instead I was confronted with something which was completely underwhealming and almost amusing in it's ineffecaciousness.

The artistic concepts which run through this work are pretty unsophisticated: the use of domestic materials, texture, colour, pattern and space. It's a litany of what get's shoved down your throat at sixth form college.

At best it looks like clumsy 50s garden sculpture, at worse something put together by Linda Barker during a particularly disastrous episode of Changing Rooms.

I know the blocky uniformity of some of the pieces are meant to cast our attention onto the space around the objects. However, just as good art must stand up to scrutiny, when art is trying to make us consider gallery space, the gallery space needs to be equally well considered. Staton's sculptures place within the Promenade Gallery is just not up to this examination.

The washed out colours of the exhibition and the equally washed out Salford light does not create an evocative or visually interesting experience.

It just feels a little too much like a trip to Wickes.

Transformations 2: ‘A Clump of Plinths’ by Sarah Staton, Sat 2 May 2009 - Sun 13 Sep 2009

1 comment:

Mickey said...

"almost amusing in it's ineffecaciousness." Brilliant, what an excellent spoof of pretentious artspeak. You also got top spot on google for your invented word (and, no, its not perfectly cromulent).