ArtSlant – Matthew Darbyshire Rackroom

20 Jun

James Thompson: You’ve spoken previously about an ‘exhibition structure’ for your work, how does this relate to this show in Paris? Also what’s your criteria for the selection of the objects, which have previously also had a structure?

Matthew Darbyshire: I often adopt some sort of notion or environment as an armature upon which I can place the elements (ie. A two-bed appartment in Kennington, London; an entrance hall in Stalin’s Palace of Culture, Warsaw; a building site hoarding in Bethnal Green, London etc.) however in this instance I, for the first time, decided to use the galleries physical architecture as a structure within which to present more of an overview. Being my first exhibition in France I felt I should offer some sort of overview or introduction to my practice before launching in to one of my larger scale ‘environments’.

JT: You’ve been categorised as ‘anti-consummerist’, your work offering a critique, yet you’ve also stated that you don’t want to be didactic. Can you say something about critique, how you reconcile these two things, how you find a valid position for comment?

MD: I’m wary of consumerism – particularly the agendas of those who abuse it; sometimes the aspirations of those who are slave to it; always its effects socially; and of course the repercussions environmentally. But who isn’t? I don’t set out to make work that is ‘anti-consumerist’. I make work in response to that which surrounds me — that which most interests me and that which I am drawn to. It’s probably a combination of formal attribute, social and political implication, personal association and whim…all of which roll in to one I guess.

With regards to its critical dimension, of course it has one but it’s probably only as pronounced or seemingly overt as it is due to my own inhibition rather than intention (ie. like many I long for the poetic and the ineffable but get snared on the cerebral and literal). The work, or the process through which it is made, eventually offers up a critique but I don’t deliberately focus on this aspect from the outset. Most upsetting of all is when the work’s interpreted solely on its perceived social claims…I hope it’s more oblique than that.

Sorry to ramble on but I think the critique surfaces through the combining of various personal traits and for me these seem to be the social, the poetic, the satirical and the formal. This was highlighted in my recent Tramway show that dedicated an antechamber to each and I’m since consciously trying to incorporate and reconcile these four traits in every work.

ArtSlant – Matthew Darbyshire Rackroom.

Susie MacMurray

19 Jun

I really like Susie MacMurray’s installations. Her playfulness reminds me of Cornelia Parker – who is surely one of her inspirations.

Great to see this installation. As part of Islington Mill’s 10-year anniversary artist Susie MacMurray has reinstalled her seminal work Stratum. Developed while she was in residence at Islington Mill as a graduate student in 2001, Stratum transformed the attic spaces of the building in a cloud of white duck down.

Berlin Trip 3: Berlinische Gallery

27 Feb

Berlinisch Gallery: Jurgen Mayer’s ‘Rapport’; Wolf Vostell, Eva Besnyo, Hans Uhlmann, Naum Gabo, Dada, Boris Mikhailov.



Eva Besnyo

Jurgen Mayer

Berlinische Gallery

Berlin Trip 2: Arndt & Daimler Galleries

27 Feb

Having seen Chiharu Shiota’s piece at the ‘Lost in Lace’ exhibition in Birmingham and also just generally inspired by her work it was great to see some more of her work in the Arndt gallery. Also in Arndt some more Jospeh Beuys.

In The Daimler Contemporary: Joseph Kosuth, Albert Mertz, Martin Boyce, Francois Morellet.

Chiharu Shiota

Berlin Trip 1: Hamburger Bahnhof

26 Feb

Tues 21st Feb: Hamburger Bahnhof

Special exhibition: Ryoji Ikeda

Lots of really interesting art here – favourites included: Joseph Beuys, Anslem Kiefer, Rauschenberg and Bruce Nauman’s installation space.

In 1996, the Hamburger Bahnhof opened with the collection belonging to the Berlin entrepreneur Dr. Erich Marx. Ever since, the Marx Collection has been a central component of the museum’s inventory. Outstanding works by artists such as Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol – many of them on permanent display – have earned the collection international renown. Pieces such as Anselm Kiefer’s lead pieces and even more so Andy Warhol’s large “Mao” (1973) are iconic trademarks of the museum. The Marx collection is on permanent loan to the Nationalgalerie, and is presented by the curators in changing configurations.

The core of the Marx Collection revolves around five major personalities of late 20th century art: Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. The collection contains wide-ranging ensembles of works by all five, making it possible for the museum to chart the artistic development of each from the early production all the way to the late or recent works.

Mark Leckey: BigBoxIndustrialAction

26 Feb

Went to see/hear Mark Leckey’s new commission for Manchester Art Gallery. I enjoyed the overall effect of the Big Box Vs The Industrial metal. The volume was impressive with gut vibrating bass notes. Felt quite ritualistic, a secular ceremony. But not sure about the sound composition as a whole.

BigBoxIndustrialAction, in which a giant soundsystem meets a three-tonne low pressure steam chest on loan from Ellenroad Engine House, near Rochdale, Greater Manchester, home of the world’s largest working steam mill engine.

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See Manchester Art Gallery page for more on this show.

Andrew Graham-Dixon on Caravaggio

3 Feb