Sunday, 20 March 2011

Anish Kapoor - Flashback

What can I write about Anish Kapoor that hasn't already been written?

Not at lot, but my experience of the exhibition of his work at the Manchester Art Gallery ( ), had very little to do with having a dialogue, in the expected normal way, with the work on display. What the hell I am I on about? Well it all started just before I entered the space when I nice man in beige stopped me and simply requested that I don't touch anything, OK isn't that what we normally do in galleries? It did seem odd but sure.

Anyway into the main space, which isn't the biggest space and other then the sculptures, in fact possibly more than that, I notice the three gallery assistants doing their job watching us, watching the sculptures. Now it may have been too much caffeine in a short space of time but there making me fidgety, I feel like giggling, being naughty. Turning someone else's work in my own little performance piece. Maybe it's Anish Kapoor that brings it out of me, once while his big walk-in pieces where in Liverpool I did run inside one of them much to the annoyance of the gallery assistant. (After working in many gallery spaces I really should know better)

It did make me think about our role while looking at art, and of course the context in which we see art. By that I mean that my awareness of being watched seemed to both at once emphasise and devalue the work, somehow by accidently setting up this relationship it brings into focus the role the gallery space in the evaluation of art work. Imagine if the work had been replaced by crisp packets and still guarded with nervous reverence; it would still have to regard it as art, because that's why people are watching over it, right? Of course this has been concept explored many times before it was just odd to experience it with actual art objects.

Having rambled on I am going to ramble on a little bit more, this time about physicality, this is sculpture and we do experience it bodily and no more so with the piece Her Blood. Her Blood consist of three large concave mirrors, not unlike the sound mirrors built during the First World War ( ). Maybe this fed into my experience of the piece I felt surrounded by a thunderous noise, a noise that didn't exist, well that didn't exist outside of me. In part good sculpture/installation/art should make us aware of ourselves as much as it brings attention to itself, even my caffeine filled paranoia over the gallery assistants fed into that experience.

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