Ghada Amer
QR CODES REVISITED—LONDON

★★☆☆☆

On until 22 December 2023

In The Rules of Art, Pierre Bourdieu scathingly described artists as sign-writers for hire willing to tailor their messages and beliefs to the highest bidder’s wishes. Thirty years on, this critique is outmoded because all art sloganeers the same thing and nobody pays artists anyhow. 

Amer’s textile works weave and print a litany of clichés (“one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”, for example) in unreadable cursive thread trace and overconfidently bold appliqué type. These snippets are so dull to the eye that the gallery reproduced the captions (“my body belongs to me and it does not represent the honour of anyone”) on the wall next to them. This invites a game of proofreading, in hope that Amer maliciously inserted a greengrocer’s apostrophe into de Beauvoir’s mind. But Bourdieu was right, after all: the signs stick to platitudes.


notes and notices are short and curt exhibition reviews. Read more:

Meeson Jessica Pae, Secretions & Formations at Carl Kostyál ★★★★☆

Meeson Jessica Pae

Secretions & Formations

★★★★☆

Oil paint can cause cancer.

Michael Simpson at Modern Art ★★★★☆

Michael Simpson

★★★★☆

In this meditation of surface disguised as a study of objects, neither is a truer likeness of the events.

Miranda Forrester, Arrival at Tiwani Contemporary ★★★☆☆

Miranda Forrester

Arrival

★★★☆☆

Forrester’s project is timely when foundational concepts like ‘mother’ and their ‘as-though’ counterparts are readily confused.

Bhenji Ra, Biraddali Dancing on the Horizon at Auto Italia ★☆☆☆☆

Bhenji Ra

Biraddali Dancing on the Horizon

★☆☆☆☆

Such work was once a mere grift. Now, it is an outright stitch-up.

Alexandre Canonico, Still at Ab Anbar ★★★☆☆

Alexandre Canonico

Still

★★★☆☆

Conanico’s slight structures look like they could take flight at any moment.

Marina Abramović, 7 Deaths of Maria Callas ★☆☆☆☆

Marina Abramović

7 Deaths of Maria Callas

★☆☆☆☆

Abramović wants to destroy all performance and all women until she holds the monopoly over stage death.

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