Blackpaint 571 – Sofa Abuse, the Floppy Drill and the Big Train

The Infinite Mix, 180 the Strand

This is an “outreach” show from the Hayward Gallery, consisting of 10 video artists, in a sort of indoor storage facility called the Store, a bit like a multi-storey car park,  divided up into pitch-black viewing chambers.

  • Martin Creed – various characters, several limping, crossing a zebra crossing to jangly music (probably Creed’s band).  The last one went backwards on his bum, while an onlooker – looked on.


  • Ugo Rondinone – John Giorno, an old Beat poet, performing barefoot for some reason.
  • Stan Douglas – fake 70s African jazz-funk band.
  • Kahill Joseph – boys in the Hood, Compton, gangs, tattoos, muscles, nightscapes, rap, subliminal flashes of lynchings, killings…
  • Cameron Jamie – male dancers interacting erotically with soft furnishings; sofa fucking (simulated) in fact.
  • Dominique Gonzales – Foerster – DGF disguised as Callas, singing opera.


  • Four other films, including a Jeremy Deller, which we missed because the queues were too long.

I liked the Creed and the Joseph best of the ones we DID see.

The Turner Prize, Tate Modern

  • Helen Marten – Strange structures assembled from skips and recycling centres, by the look of them; one like a sort of flexible missile, or a giant bug, boring centipede maybe, with a segmented body – or maybe a floppy drill…


  • Anthea Hamilton – The bare arse sculpture, the crack parted by hands, atop splayed legs (apparently designed for a NY apartment block doorway – wonder why it never got built?).  Also non-functioning chastity belts on podia.
  • Josephine Pryde – Lovely big diesel train model, DB Schencker livery, with grafitti.


  • Michael Dean – £20,000- plus in a heap of copper, with one penny removed so that it’s below the povery line for a 2 parent, 2 child family for a year.  This is accompanied by an indescribable assortment of things and casts of things in a variety of materials – nice blue ones for example – that I guess are supposed to represent below poverty, junkyard Britain.  The handout says that his objects often suggest human body parts, and we spotted a number of little hands crawling about on the floor.


I liked the Helen Marten, having previously seen the same or similar works at the Venice Biennale last year but I was surprised to find that I was enjoying the Michael Dean even more – but then there was that fantastic train set….

Pina, Wim Wenders (dir)

Watched this again the other night – the ethereal vocal music in the “Cafe Muller” sequence was Purcell; The Faery Queen and Dido and Aeneas.  And, of course, a whole series of beautiful excerpts from the performances of her Tanztheatr Wuppertal, starting with “Rite of Spring”  and including some hairy sequences of vigorous and abandoned dancing QUITE near the edge of a drop in a huge quarry.  Also a segment that looked  choreographed by someone familiar with Winifred Knights’ famous painting “The Deluge”.  I’ll be returning to this film many times, I’m sure.


OK, enough; William Kentridge at the Whitechapel – fantastic show – and more Abstract Expressionism next time.



Garden Valley





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