Monday, 3 May 2010

A World Observed @ Manchester Art Gallery

If you are looking for a visual world of comforting nostalgia and non-threatening prettiness, you need to look no further than Manchester Art Gallery’s A World Observed 1940 - 2010: Photographs by Dorothy Bohm.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s a simple exhibition, telling a simple story in a simple way. There is nothing wrong with beauty or simplicity in art, but in this exhibition it's damped down by a heavy handed helping of sentimentality. Dare I say it?... it's just too bloody feminine.

There is too little depth and intellectual sustenance in either Dorothy Bohm's photographs or how they are presented in this exhibition. It feels too habitual and nostalgic to evoke anything other than a vague saccharine atmosphere. Following on from two stunning, exciting and moving exhibitions, this feels like a retreat into an artistic comfort zone.

Now, for some this might be technically proficient and visually attractive photography, but for me it just completely lacks punctum. Good photography is not always brilliant art.

At the end of the day, it might be a pretty exhibition, but it feels too nostalgic and pedestrian to excite or move me. It's high brow kittens in baskets.


BetaBumbler said...

Agreed there's an excess of studium but in amongst it, almost drowned by it, there are moments caught that might satisfy Barthes.

Anonymous said...

pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!! ........................................