So What Happened on Thursday and Friday?

It must be all this sunny weather, I’m struggling to find the time to write about all the things I’ve been to see. Last Thursday was busy…

Adrian Henri Retrospective at Cornerstone (Hope Uni)

There was a big crowd here including many ‘celebrity’ friends of the late Mr Henri and its a bigger show than normal for this venue. There are several small tems in the glass cabinets near the entrance containing sketch books, poetry books, Liverpool Scene album covers etc.
Personally I preferred his poetry and music to his painting but I do like some of them. I used to see Liverpool Scene regularly at O’Connors Tavern in Hardman St in the late 60’s and I have a lot of Adrian’s poetry, excellent. There’s a proper review of the exhibition on the way so be patient or, better still, go and see it for yourself. Runs until July 15th.
Couldn’t stop long as we had to dash over to FACT….

The Agony & The Ecstasy at FACT

In Gallery 1 is Chen Chieh-jen’s work ‘Lingchi – Echoes of a Historical Photograph’. The printed guide begins ‘I cannot stop gazing at these photographic images of anonymous people being tortured, executed…’
Well maybe you cannot Chen, but I certainly can! Its a filmed re-enactment of a Lingchi execution or ‘death of a thousand cuts’. Its in Bill Viola style slow-motion in black & white on three large screens. I didn’t stop long. Why would I want to?

In Gallery 2 is Sigalit Landau’s ‘Barbed Hula’
‘A naked dancer (Landau herself) performs on the beach with a symbolic barbed wire hula hoop – a provocative act which, despite the barbs pointing outwards, places the onlooker in the uncomfortable position of witness to a self-inflicted pleasure/pain experience’
‘Pleasure’? I’m obviously missing something. The barbs may be pointing outwards but you can still see a lot of marks on her skin. Lets move on quickly.
Also in Gallery 2 is ‘Pitfall’ by Marzia Migliora & Elisa Sighicelli. This is better. Its a 3D animation in black & white inspired by pictures from the Encyclopedia of Diderot et D’Alembert [1745] of plans for hunting and trapping animals. The viewer finds herself walking inside a wood, the trees look like they’re cardboard cutouts. You’re looking for a way out but, in fact, all the paths lead to the pitfall. I actually watched this for quite a while.

Rebecca Key at Arena

On Friday I went to an office party. Or so it seemed. The Arena gallery has been turned into a big office by Rebecca Key for this installation entitled ‘Administration’. It really does look like a real rather dated, untidy office.

A few desks, computers, filing cabinets even a scruffy carpet and all the typical clutter of an admin office. A lot of the material has been donated by local companies and some has been rescued from skips (with permission).
I quite enjoyed the experience, safe in the knowledge that I don’t have to work in such an environment any more. I did long to tidy the place up though, I can’t abide untidy workspaces.
Runs until July 23rd and Rebecca is discussing the work on July 16th at 14.30.


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