Stephen Willats
Time Tumbler

★★★★☆

Curated by Jelena Kristic
On until 13 January 2024

In half of this exhibition, the now octogenarian Stephen Willats does the internet. A series of watercolour, text, and photographic collages map abstractions like search engines and social networks with the artist’s familiar arsenal of arrows and diagrams. He 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. The most alluring of these images have no trace of the human. The currents are orderly and the possibilities are endless. None of this theory is true, of course, but it’s hard not to look.

The illusion is troubled by the rest of the show which reprises Willats’ hits from the 1970s. There, social practice meets semiotic analysis. The artist’s time-and-motion studies of homemaking, street life, and the corporate boardroom are celebrated as potent critiques of social relationships that play contrary to the exuberance of late capitalism. Unnervingly, the method of this inquiry is the same as in Willat’s network suite. This forces a reconsideration of the seminal work’s value as ‘data’ and foregrounds its form.


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.

Max Hooper Schneider, Twilight at the Earth’s Crust at Maureen Paley ★★☆☆☆

Max Hooper Schneider

Twilight at the Earth’s Crust

★★☆☆☆

Mad Max meets Waterworld in a crossover sequel conceived by a film studio’s marketing department.

Diego Marcon, Dolle at Sadie Coles HQ ★★★☆☆

Diego Marcon

Dolle

★★★☆☆

Idle work became indistinguishable from leisure, vegetative time-passing from family life.

Women in Revolt! at Tate ★★★☆☆

Women in Revolt!

★★★☆☆

There’s a room for female labour, a corner for childbirth, one for black women, and a section for lesbians. This is as close to nuance as Tate gets today.

Alia Farid, Elsewhere at Chisenhale ★★★☆☆

Alia Farid

Elsewhere

★★★☆☆

There is no answer in the work. Its cause and the object become enmeshed in a bland, exoticized mess. 

Teewon Ahn and Ibrahim Meïté Sikely at Gianni Manhattan and P21 at Project Native Informant ★★★☆☆

Teewon Ahn and Ibrahim Meïté Sikely

★★★☆☆

These works are as garish as they are fun to look at.

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