Saturday, 7 February 2009

Subversive Spaces

Continuing the Surrealist trend from my last post, I ought to chat about my most recent gallery experience here in Manchester-land. A handful of my very favorite people in the Manc and I went to the opening for Subversive Spaces at the Whitworth Gallery last night. The show itself fell short of my expectations, as I found the pieces lacked harmony with one another. The concept of the show, bringing together historical Surrealist works with contemporary ones through the common subject of space, had the potential to make a very strong argument. Unfortunately, the connections between the two periods were a tad week and the show seemed a bit haphazard. 

Despite its fallbacks, the show wasn't all bad, as the pieces themselves were, in general, quite noteworthy. There were some interesting works by Dora Maar and Brassa├», as well as some spectacular urban scenes by the contemporary photographer Anna Gaskell. There was also a strange room devoted to hysteric women, which seemed a bit out of place considering the show's theme. An interesting and relevant subject, no doubt, but a stretch when relating it to the surreal quality of space.  

All in all, the show was sub-par. I would like to visit it again sometime this coming week, when there are fewer trendy hipsters crowding the galleries and polluting the space with pretentious jargon. That really is the worst part of gallery openings, I must say, as it really makes it difficult to get a complete sense of the show. Ah well, at least there was free champagne.

Afterwards, I went out with my aforementioned favorite people for a few drinks and political conversation that was a refreshing deviation from the world of art theory.  It was lovely and relaxing (although it did get a tad heated, as every good political discussion ought to). Love those kids, fo sho.

I'll leave you with a Mona Hatoum that was in the show...

Mona Hatoum, Marble Slicer, 2002
On second thought, perhaps the hysteric women were relevant after all. *Cough*

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