Saturday, 15 February 2014

Martin Creed | What's the Point of It? Review

After work last week, we went to the Martin Creed What's the Point of It? exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. I'm currently doing an Art History course, and although it doesn't cover modern art (and therefore I couldn't make obnoxious statements about the pieces on display) I went along, because, well, art is art.

The Hayward Gallery is, let's be real, a really ugly building from the outside. I am not a fan of the 60s concrete look and it epitomises that. However, inside it's bright and airy and well, vast. The exhibition was well curated, with plenty of space and a variety of Martin Creed's work on display.
It costs £11 to go in, which is worth it if you like modern art, but is a waste of money if you think that screwed up balls of paper do not constitute art. Yes, there really are screwed up balls of paper in the exhibition. But then again I suppose that's what the title of the exhibition is getting at- what's the point of it? What is art? 
Work no. 200 Half the air in a given space, 1998
Balloons definitely bring out my inner child
I have to be honest here, and say that I didn't get a lot of it. Some of the artwork on display was standout- for example, the wall of broccoli prints in different coloured paints was stunning and reminded me of Rosarch tests. Some of the walls were painted with beautiful geometric patterns, which contrasted against the more natural parts of the exhibition, the row of cacti for one. I liked the brick wall made out of layers of variagated bricks, but on the whole, I found it difficult to connect with most of the artwork.
The worst example of this is a film that plays in the room before you exit, which shows people walking into shot and vomiting, or defecating, and walking off camera. Now, that I found absolutely repulsive and it made me feel more than a bit sick. (I'm not good with watching people throw up.) I fail to see how you can find that enjoyable, but fair play if you can see some artistic merit in it, because I certainly can't.
I don't generally like to take photos in galleries, and they're not usually allowed, but I did make an exception for this one particular piece, Work no. 200 Half the air in a given space, 1998. It was so much fun! It was basically a room half-filled with white balloons. Do not ask me what it's meant to "mean", all I know is that it was great fun! It reminded me of ball pits when I was younger and we had a lot of fun twirling around and chucking the balloons around. Childish, us? 

Pretty much everyone had their phones out and since my phone recently broke, and I am now the proud owner of a brick phone, I had to become one of those people and take photos on my iPad. So lame, but necessary. I also took some video footage, but I'm not sure how to put it up. I wish I'd had my DSLR, but you get the just of it. 

Work no. 200 Half the air in a given space, 1998
Balloons everywhere!
I do think it's worth doing things, or seeing things that you wouldn't normally, and this exhibition definitely falls into this category for me. I visited the Saatchi Gallery, which I blogged about, and generally found much more enjoyable. Maybe because the works weren't so confrontational. Id say parts of this exhibition, such as the blu-tac stuck to the wall, will have many people going "well, I could do that", which is a phrase that plagues modern art. 

If you are a child at heart, it's worth the £11 to mess around in the balloon room, which wiped all unpleasant memories of other pieces from my mind, but you'll know if you want to go or not!

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