Manfred Pernice, Megan Plunknett

>anticorpo<

★★★★☆

On until 17 February 2024

The brand of formal inquiry exercised by Pernice and Plunkett rarely makes the news today. In the age of the skeuomorph, the lost meaning of signs and the human detachment from them should alarm philosophers. For artists, it is a rare opportunity.

Pernice’s accidental sculptures, assembled from plinths, crates, and podiums, forego any trace of joy or celebration. The flag poles, once bearers of pride and excess, stand naked as if to mark a period of mourning. Their Eastern European colours and forms, like the detritus on an abandoned building site, speak of an opportunity missed and self-induced amnesia.

Plunkett’s semiotic photographs continue along time’s arrow. The image archaeologist’s wheel stopped on Coke cans and sun gods just now, but many more objects deserve a place on Wikipedia’s ‘top things’ list. They’ll miss out on the click-through traffic, however, because Plunkett’s signs, like Pernice’s, revel in detachment. 

There’s nothing new under the sun here, quite literally. Such ‘80s nostalgia for meaning before history’s end is a comfort blanket. It would take a demagogue to remember that even the Bechers’ water tower pictures were a call to action. 


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

Yoko Ono at Tate ★★★☆☆

Yoko Ono

Music of the Mind

★★★☆☆

This show will sell tickets. But it won’t change the weather.

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.

Pablo Bronstein, Cakehole at Herald Str ★★★☆☆

Pablo Bronstein

Cakehole

★★★☆☆

Bronstein falls into the late evening stupor of the cheese trolley, the oyster tray, and… the Mars bar.

Josèfa Ntjam’s, swell of spæc(i)es, Venice ★★☆☆☆

Josèfa Ntjam

swell of spæc(i)es

★★☆☆☆

Ntjam’s Biennale presentation has all the hallmarks of world-building ambition. For one, it boasts two separate locations, one dedicated solely to the work’s public programme. The main feature is housed in a giant purpose-made structure which occupies a third of…

Abdullah Al Saadi, Sites of Memory, Sites of Amnesia, UAE pavilion in Venice ★★★☆☆

Abdullah Al Saadi

Sites of Memory, Sites of Amnesia

★★★☆☆

The exhibition’s user experience rivals that of the Apple Store.

Helen Johnson, Opening at Pilar Corrias ★☆☆☆☆

Helen Johnson

Opening

★☆☆☆☆

This is the work of a mind that, having needlessly spent years in therapy, became hooked on ennui or of an artist who wasted time misreading Lacan.

×