So it is this time of the year again. Most of the BA courses across London had their hand-ins and have since prepared for their degree shows. I used to study at the London College of Communication and have always gone to (almost) every private view across the universities. This year was not going to be an exception: the rainy summer evenings weren’t going to hold me back.
The first private views I went to were at LCC. I decided to go and see Interior Design first. While the discipline in itself isn’t something that particularly interests me, there could always be something worth seeing. They had built a whole construction in the New Street Gallery and had all their projects up on weird constructions. While the sign at the entrance was pretty cool, you were then surrounded by these ‘shapes’. Probably the complete opposite of invisible curation, those constructions were very obstructive. On a side-note, if anyone has been to the Tate Britain recently to view the Picasso exhibition: have you seen the frames those paintings are mounted on? There is no conformity and some of them are absolutely massive, completely overshadowing the piece they frame…
Back on track, the projects were interesting. Typical to the course, most of the final projects were solving community and social issues. The models featured eggshells, magical castles enveloped by weird silvery linen and other fantastical constructs.
I then joined up with Christian, who used to be on my course and now works in Letterpress, and we went to see Surface Design (on the 3rd floor of the Design block). Surface Design is always interesting, playfully filling the space with a huge variety of projects. This year featured a lot more abstract work than the previous years. There were trendy gadgets, a coffin installation, a doll house, huge mural drawings and a handful of ceramic prints.
Some pieces caught the eye and were rather beautiful, while others were poorly presented and surprisingly unprofessional. A particularly interesting installation featured two students projecting textures unto 3D shapes on a while, a new age attempt to surface design. They were beautiful and worked well with the ambient music played in the room.
As Christian had to leave, I decided to head to Goldsmiths to have a quick look at their BA Photography and Fine Art show. Now, I have mixed feelings about Goldsmiths: there was a good vibe around the exhibitions, featuring live math rock music and free, cold beers (LCC now has you pay for everything…).
On the other hand, some pieces were very poorly presented (mounted unto black sugar paper) and some were just extremely ambitious. I personally believe that no matter how much of an artist you consider yourself, your work should still be aesthetically pleasing. It should at least feature a conceptual explanation… Laying potatoes around the room and hooked unto a weird machine could be considered ‘sick’ or ‘rad’ by your friends, but to the unknowing audience it is not, to say the least. This was too bad, because the church converted into an exhibition space is absolutely amazing and was used in such a bad way…
The highlight of the evening is probably a performance piece I managed to see, featuring a Taiwanese performer pouring three whole bottles of soja sauce unto herself. While I can hardly imagine something worse, the piece was powerful and the smell eventually revolting, completely immersing the audience in the emotions the artist is trying to convey (that of rebirth and washing away of sins, in relation to her family’s dismissal of her homosexuality).