Lutz Bacher
AYE!

★★★★☆

Curated by Anthony Huberman
On until 17 December 2023

There’s joy in repetition. Bacher was a master of the animated gif – a fragment of reality so brief that it must be examined recurrently – long before TikTok colonised the trope. The show starts at the beach where Tereza from The Unbearable Lightness of Being repeatedly asks her lover if he’s happy. Judging by the tones of the piano in the background, he must be, but we’re swept away to the start of the sequence before any happiness occurs. Back indoors, Leonard Cohen continually tries to launch into one of his ballads but runs out of time. Roberta Flack vocalises Killing Me Softly so many times that her voice turns dissonant and hurts. Then Andy Warhol’s Empire crumbles even though Bacher made multiple copies. And as if this wasn’t frustrating enough, she plays the bells from Princess Diana’s funeral on repeat and to no conclusion.

Bacher’s trick is so disarmingly simple that its repeated deployment slips up the brain’s internal clock. It’s easy to get lost in this infinite scroll – indeed, there may be one or two works too many in this show – but unlike the one on a phone screen, this one braces the entire body. There’s joy in repetition.


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

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Marina Xenofontos, Public Domain at Camden Art Centre ★★★☆☆

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How can art improve the lives of communities? Wrong answers only.

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