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The Mind is a Horse, Part 2 at Bloomberg Space

From: Eva
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 05 June 2005


A two hour mixed bag film and video programme viewed from beanbags. In the daylight the information leaflet was stylish, a complete nightmare in the dark of the projection room. Whose dim idea was the navy blue on black or the 7 point font? Watched just over an hour of the programme. The earliest piece dates from 1979 but this was not a historical show with the majority of works made in the last couple of years. The blurb about the show was well written, concerning mental journeys and illusion. Rather than taking a pencil for a walk these artists are taking a video/film camera for one, both metaphorically and literally (though some pieces were taking the viewer for a ride). I can see this loose, if well explained, link between the works. Alas, some pieces justified the curators’ premise but laboured the point somewhat. Here’s a breakdown of what I saw:

Sighicelli’s ‘Baudelaire’ - pin pricks of light like constellations, these expand before our eyes and focus to reveal they are really close ups of… chandeliers? Strings of seaweed algae? Some such. Abstract, pretty and simple. I didn’t get the Baudelaire reference of the title. Maybe it explains the repetition of the piece. Was she afraid that because it’s short we wouldn’t get it? or is the repetition for emphasis?

Allora and Calzdilla’s ‘Returning a sound’ - trumpet attached to motorbike exhaust. Bit of a clever one liner though it had a good beat and was well edited. Why did it have to be the length it was? The sound was interesting but some time after I’d ‘got it’ I wasn’t sure why it was necessary to keep going. Like many of the works, if it had been designed to be viewed on it’s own then fair enough but in the context of a reel it just laboured the point.

Blandy’s ‘Emotional Content’: Deadpan suggested conversation between Bruce Lee and Blandy wherein Lee teaches him about ‘emotional content’. Cuts between old film footage of Lee (Way of the Dragon?) and new footage of Blandy . Funny and well done but I’ve seen this kind of thing a lot and beyond the humour and the geeky persona that Blandy creates in all his work, there isn’t much other meaning/interest.

Almond’s ‘Arctic Pull’: Green night shot of ‘Arctic’ explorer pulling rope from this year’s Turner prize nominee. I suspected there some clever trickery along the line, not clear what that was though, didn’t believe it actually was the Arctic. I kept asking myself why it had to be so long. Apparently WAS the arctic and time is an ongoing theme in Almond’s work – thus the durational aspect. Not convinced, wouldn’t want to have to sit through it again.

Sawa’s ‘Sitting Down’: Rocking horses multiplying in an imaginary world of nursery objects in a comfy middle class home (wooden toys, piano, books, sheepskin rug). Exceptionally well crafted. Sound well composed. Pretty. Not sure how many levels of interpretation exist.

Tappenden’s ‘Dawn Chorus’: I only caught the end of this. Dawn chorus against pretty abstract paintings, from 1988.

Saquel ‘Pentimenti’: Most of the voiceover lines appear to come from an etiquette manual, others are questions to a loved one. The image is of a horse at night being trained. Nice image, horse breath steaming in the night, nostalgic quality.

Rigobert: Two people in a hotel roon morphing one into the other. Looks like a series of still shots animated, the result is stop start movement. Works very well.

Toderi’s ‘Apollo’: Animated space craft floating around a baroque interior. Black and white. Boring. Unnecessary length.

Salmon’s ‘PS’: Can’t remember it.

Anderson’s ‘Alices’: Wobbly face, slow zoom out of a reflection. Hmmm…

Miller’s ‘I Am Making Art Too’: Trickery of the artist(?) dancing around Baldessari, from footage of one of his performances. Funny, so what.

Rogg’s ‘Woodward’: Shaking people. Short, dynamic, funny.

Sapountzis’ ‘Impact vision’: What is he getting at? Why did he tint the film red? What’s his point?

Blandy’s ‘Ghost’: Scary blue light on face, ghost, then illusion fades as camera picks out Blandy’s spectacled face, then camera goes back to the illusion of a spectre. Similar concerns as ‘Emotional Content’ above.

Reupke’s ‘Infrastructure’: black and white postcards scenes of train line, port and motorway with mountain backdrops. Tableau vivant. Mannered little disturbances in each. Should have been mounted on the wall as these were really moving paintings. Rather staid and boring to watch as part of a 2 hour screening.

There were also 12 other videos that I didn't see.

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