RM
A Story Backwards

★★☆☆☆

On until 3 December 2023

The installation consists of only a handful of elements: five yellow mesh hangings which divide the gallery, four oversized kitchen colanders with text engravings, a pair of traffic lights. The constellation turns the gallery into a stage set in search of a script.

The programme promises the world. We’re watching comedia dell’arte! These objects are “experiences of power” and “satires of social hierarchies”! They question “agency and authority” and engage us in “roleplay”!

All those would be great plot twists, but the play has been cancelled. The actors are missing and there is no story, neither forward nor back.

Why theatre, why these notions, why these props? Having forgotten what the ‘dramatic’ in art stands for, visual artists today too often mistake hacked theory and mistranslated philosophy for stage directions. A tragedia dell’arte for our times.


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

Nick Relph, Fils, ta vision! at Herald St ★☆☆☆☆

Nick Relph

Fils, ta vision!

★☆☆☆☆

There’s little for the eye to hang on and none of the punk culture of Relph’s earlier practice emerges from the works.

RE/SISTERS at Barbican ★★☆☆☆

RE/SISTERS

★★☆☆☆

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

things fall apart; the centre cannot hold at Tabula Rasa ★★★★☆

Elli Antoniou, Ali Glover, Richard Dean Hughes

things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

★★★★☆

These works could bear witness to the birth of a star or the heat death of the universe. The curators don’t know which.

Nicola Turner, Edward Bekkerman at Shtager&Shch ★★☆☆☆

Nicola Turner, Edward Bekkerman

The Song of Psyche: Corners of a Soul's Otherworlds

★★☆☆☆

Who opens a space in Fitzrovia only to fill it with such drivel?

Dominique Fung, (Up)Rooted, at Massimo de Carlo ★★☆☆☆

Dominique Fung

(Up)Rooted

★★☆☆☆

All this tries to be macabre and surreal like in Bosch or Miyazaki but is instead laughably twee.

Francesca DiMattio, Wedgwood at Pippy Houldsworth ★★★☆☆

Francesca DiMattio

Wedgwood

★★★☆☆

In DiMattio’s giant ceramics kiln, everyday motifs like sneakers and knickers clash into the ornate Rococo stove and the Victorian China snuff box.

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