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Fresh fArt  20/07/03
Reviews

From: Mimi
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 20 July 2003

Review

Hot hot hot....the Business Design Centre used to be a cattle market, literally, the animals would stop off here to go to market, sweltering like cattle indeed, we survey the vast array of stands, each holding their very own exhibition.Some stands elong to studio groups, others independent artists and also stands for colleges. The poorer colleges have smaller stands, the richer artists get more space. There is a selection process to exhibit, though you still have to cough up the stand hire fee, and they charge you 70 quid to wire up a plug socket if needed. So it is a bit prohibitive, and that does mean that the whole aim is to sell stuff. The turnover in some stands is great, one picture sells then another is whipped up in its place, there's credit card facilities and a bubble wrapping service for those eager to take the work home with them. I notice certain trends in this consumerism, people love neat things, portable things, things that look realistic, things that are high-tech. Of course, even if you wanted to exhibit something that was messy or big or a little bit out of control the exhibition organisers probably wouldn't allow it, everything has to fit in to the neat system of divided up space. The coolest area, both in temperature (air conditioned)and content is the "inspirations" room. All painted red, it's the charity auction room in aid of the Terence Higgins Trust. There's an Emin, a Wearing, a couple of nice dresses by Vivienne Westwood, and a Banksy (who is now in the BIG league it seems, what with the article in the Guardian.) I mean cool in the sense that it is almost sterile in here, the empty Sotheby's platform looming at the front. And I suppose that sums it up, money, going to a good cause, whether it's for a charity or to a poor artist, it's the ching that matters here. But no one pretended it was anything else really, the organisers, the artists, or the Design Centre itself.

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