Pope.L
Hospital

★★★☆☆

On until 11 February 2024

Pope.L’s fanciful etymology of ‘hospital’ as ‘stranger’ is only one of this show’s missed metaphors. The centrepiece is a crumbling scaffold on which the nearly naked artist ate the Wall Street Journal in 2000. Reading the Journal is said to increase a person’s wealth. It didn’t for Pope.L and there was no budget to test this thesis again today. 

This monumental detritus confuses correlation with causation and forces accord with the now naïve staging of Wall Street as the main enemy. To make matters plainer still, the artist invites visitors to sprinkle “white stuff” onto his crumbling edifice, only to laugh behind their backs later.

The replication crisis continues in a 2008 video performance in which chickens and goats graze on and then topple the US Capitol building. This confounds the sources and forms of power and lands in the joke section of Animal Farm and not as a prophecy of the Jan 6th insurrection as the show guide would have it.

All this is as though the artist didn’t trust the audience to make meaning in his absence. The less performative parts of the exhibition – installations of wine bottles and hospital paraphernalia stained by decay – are free from this anxiety.


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

Karrabing Film Collective, Night Fishing with Ancestors at Goldsmiths CCA ★☆☆☆☆

Karrabing Film Collective

Night Fishing with Ancestors

★☆☆☆☆

Little separates this display from a human zoo complete with curators who occasionally kettle-prod the once noble savage into a spectacular rage.

RE/SISTERS at Barbican ★★☆☆☆

RE/SISTERS

★★☆☆☆

Too many deadpan landscape photographs turn intrigue into fatigue and into paralysis.

Christine Ay Tjoe, Lesser Numerator at White Cube ★★☆☆☆

Christine Ay Tjoe

Lesser Numerator

★★☆☆☆

Aj Tjoe’s paintings could make great scenic backdrops to a David Attenborough documentary on the life of wild rodents

Armando D. Cosmos, Nothing New Under the Sun at Phillida Reid ★★★☆☆

Armando D. Cosmos

Nothing New Under the Sun

★★★☆☆

Cosmos wants to redefine STEM as the alliance of science, theosophy, engineering, and myth.

Stephen Willats, Time Tumbler at Victoria Miro

Stephen Willats

Time Tumbler

★★★★☆

Willats orders fragments of time, matter, and space into data packets on one side of the flow chart and puts them to use on the other.

Talar Aghabshian, Solace of the Afterimage at Marfa’ at The Approach ★★☆☆☆

Talar Aghbashian

Solace of the Afterimage

★★☆☆☆

The carpet dealer gallerist’s zeal reveals the work’s lamentable inadequacy. 

×