Okay, so it's been a few days since I actually saw this exhibition, so there'll be a slight memory lag but I shall drag from the fuzzy mess of recollection what I thought all that time ago.
Literary just off the train, I meet my friend and we work alongside the river towards Project Space Leeds which is currently hosting the GLAMOURIE exhibition which aims to bring 'too-little know' artists. This is where a little knowledge could be a bad thing, having a small interest in that kind of stuff I know that a Glamourie is a kind of Magick spell which enables people to charm and seduce through artifice. Will I fall under their spell?
Entering the space and we are handed a leaflet detailing the artists in the exhibition, identifying which artist is in which room relies on a series of keys. So I am not really referencing it, until now. We moved passed some table and chairs and entered a space which is dominated by a large collection of cardboard, covered in dripping, sloppy gloss paint shaped to form two heads kissing. It's all sort of jolly in a cartoony way, my comment while looking at it was 'It's like something Noel Fielding would do.' Also in the room there is a model of a classic building, compacted and unable to let anyone in. The walls are covered with empty spaces, the artists have recreated those marks left behind when a large item has been removed, it's difficult to pin these down whether its acknowledgement in the beauty of the unintended or something about memory, I'm not sure. There's nothing to indicate either.
Moving back into the main gallery space we pass a vague reproduction of a Tapas Bar, I'm not sure what going on here or why I can't unpick the code. That goes for most of the work in the show not for the first time I get the sensation that I'm like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters, pawing at his mash potatoes, trying to shape something and mumbling to myself '..this means something..'.
Hey, it's not all bad. I was genuinely impressed by Ant Macari's monastic installation Ruach Ha'Shem (Brain of God/Creation of Adam) a sort of mystic conceptualism which references Sol le Witt and Jorges Louis Borges. Maybe it's just the fact that I've been able to identify where the artist is coming from, to see that he is able to collate these references into something solid and interesting, I hope I'm not that shallow. It's not only stuff I can identify with I like another piece which stuck out for me where Paul McDevitt's series of drawings entitled Notes to Self, which could be regarded as uber-doodles. For the spraying bubbling forms which inhabit the drawings stem from the hastily scrawled notes , and seem to be extended versions of McDevitt's handwriting and why wouldn't they be. I was also attracted to Joseph Lewes, cobbled together versions of medieval instruments.
Looking back on it, what did I think? As an attempt to bring some lesser known artists to a wider audience it kind of works, but as what often happens the majority of artists involved can slip pass. Which is the main problem with these type of pack 'em exhibitions but what is the alternative? Also the attempt to allow the works to bleed through impacted on my ability to see the individual merits of individual works. It's as if the attempt to cast a glamourie over these artists has somehow produced the opposite effect. Like the Pil & Galia Kollectiv's (whose work I like) dresser marked with modern corporate sigils is interesting to look at but open the draws and there's nothing inside.
The exhibition runs until the 31st March.